Deadline extensions on more than 80 pieces of pending legislation could help bring about a budget for Illinois.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, extended the deadline to June 30 for more than 80 House and Senate bills. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said it’s normal practice by the legislature to extend deadlines.
Among the bills are appropriations for higher education, the auditor general’s operations and more.
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“If you’re going to pass a budget you would need appropriation bills to be available and considered,” Brown said.
Brown said working groups continue to make progress, but they’re not there yet.
“There are no bills, no budget proposals to actually vote on that would be likely to pass the General Assembly,” Brown said.
State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said the extended bills, ranging from appropriations to changing the school funding formula, may not be in their original form by the time working groups get done with them.
“Ideally, the working groups would present some legislation to be debated on and voted on by the entire General Assembly,” Demmer said. “I think the extension of these bills provides us with maybe a few avenues to do that.”
While some lawmakers criticize the secret nature of the working groups, Demmer said having them behind closed doors allows for more candid conversations “because it’s an initial conversation.”
“All of these things will get a chance to be seen in public, voted on in public, debated in public,” Demmer said.
Demmer said the working groups are covering topics ranging from reforms to revenues and the budget.