Illinois Senate leaders say now that they’ve finished off the plan to get through the remaining three months of the state's fiscal year, they can focus on a budget for the 12 months beginning July 1. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) still sounds frustrated with the governor’s lack of specifics. “The fundamental problem with Fiscal Year 2016 is the governor has to present a balanced budget. He hasn’t done that. We need to know what extra revenues he expects to produce to balance his own budget,” says Cullerton.
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“He hasn’t even introduced the pension bill that he says will save $2.2 billion. We don’t even know who’s going to sponsor it (or) what the bill says!”
“I think the fact we were able to come together with a difficult proposal (for the remainder of the current fiscal year) and pass it on a bipartisan basis portends well” for Fiscal Year 2016, says Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). “I think it demonstrates to the people of Illinois that their legislature is willing to take on tough issues.”
Cullerton says the governor’s ability to put all Republicans in the legislature on the immediate fix is good, but, Cullerton reminds us, Democrats have supermajorities in each chamber.
The General Assembly resumes action in Springfield the week of April 13.