Illinois’ House speaker isn’t sure lawmakers will finish their business ahead of the scheduled adjournment at the end of the month. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) says a lot of work still must be done, particularly on Medicaid. He says much of the budget hinges on the governor’s proposal to cut $2.7 billion out of the program, and Madigan says lawmakers must hit that target.
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“If the governor’s requested reductions in Medicaid don’t meet the mark… we need to go back and rearrange all the other numbers,” he says. Lawmakers will also spend the next three weeks trying to fix what some call the state’s unsustainable pension systems, but that has been difficult as many proposals have pre-emptively been called unconstitutional. Madigan says he’s watching his proposal, S.B. 1313, work its way through the legislature. The proposal would eliminate free health care premiums for 78,000 state government retirees, which is how many retirees gave 20 years of service or more. Other government employees who gave less than 20 years, whose premium is calculated based on years of service, would also be affected.
“There’s much to be done in terms of the budget making. Significant reductions that must be done… and if we’re not able to pass S.B. 1313, then I would ask, what are we going to be able to do?” he says. “This will be a reduction budget.” “May 31 as a deadline is 50-50,” said Madigan when asked if lawmakers will finish ahead of their scheduled adjournment. “50-50.”