U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says state legislators and the governor shouldn’t expect him or other members of Illinois’ congressional delegation to get stalled budget talks moving. Durbin cautioned against going into the current fiscal year without a budget. Without placing blame on either Democratic legislative leaders or Gov. Bruce Rauner, he’s hoping for an end to the impasse soon, but also warns no one from Congress is going to “come to the rescue.”
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“When it comes to the city’s problems and the state’s problems, they have to be solved right here at home,” Durbin said. “I don’t get as many phone calls as I have with requests for transportation funds or other things important for the state, but still, as a citizen of this state and someone who wants to make sure that we prosper, this current situation’s unacceptable.” Durbin says the state seems to be running by “judicial mandate” in the absence of a budget, like how a court ruling allowed state workers to be paid in full. $4.8 billion in federal money has been held up by the budget battle, but earlier this week, the Illinois Senate passed a bill allowing the funds to be spent. The House is expected to take it up next week, and Rauner has indicated he’ll sign the legislation.