The Republican leader in the Illinois Senate calls this a “do or die week” on dealing with the shortfall in the current budget. Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says legislative leaders are close to an agreement allowing Gov. Bruce Rauner to reallocate funds for the rest of the fiscal year. That’s been the case, but Radogno feels the legislature’s two week spring break will put their feet to the fire.
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“I can’t say for sure, but I’m cautiously optimistic that goodwill will prevail and we will try to get that done for the people of this state this week,” Radogno said. “If we don’t, we’re then facing a two week break, and I think that it bodes very poorly going forward.”
If legislators leave without a deal, Radogno says layoffs and payment delays in areas like child care and court reporting can be expected.
The draft plan calls for an across-the-board 2.25 percent spending cut for the remaining months of the fiscal year. It also includes sweeping money out of certain state funds, such as the road fund. While Republicans have opposed taking money from the road fund in the past, Radogno feels it’s necessary this time, saying “circumstances are more dire than they ever have been.”