A bipartisan group of state lawmakers agreed there is a path toward a budget deal before the next fiscal year begins.

During a forum featuring eight state lawmakers Monday, sponsored jointly by Truth in Accounting and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Democratic state Sen. Heather Steans said she knows there is some common ground between Republicans and Democrats.

“Workers’ compensation, I definitely think,” Steans said. “Procurement reform, I definitely think. We understand local control is very important to the governor, so we’re going to have to look at that, but we’re not going to undermine core collective bargaining rights.”

Click here for summary

Republican state. Rep. Bob Pritchard said any compromise needs to be able to stand alone.

“And look at the three-legged stool of spending cuts, revenue and reforms,” Pritchard said.

The panel of lawmakers all said there should be a budget deal before the end-of-May deadline, while some said there should be a multiyear plan.

They also said trust is an issue when it comes to leaders talking compromise behind closed doors.

Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris said leaders can do a few things to further negotiations toward a budget compromise.

“Building trust, negotiating things and sticking with your word are probably the two most important things folks can do,” Harris said.

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy agreed there’s a lack of trust between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan, but said it’s time for the speaker to get over it.

“You don’t have the right to hold the rest of the state in abeyance until you get over this,” Murphy said. “You just don’t.”

Murphy said the governor has given in on several fronts including being open to increasing taxes alongside substantive economic reforms the governor said will spur economic growth.


(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com)