Deja vu: Illinois' legislative session to end without a state budget | St. Louis Public Radio

Deja vu: Illinois' legislative session to end without a state budget

May 31, 2017

The Illinois General Assembly is once again ending its annual legislative session without passing a budget. 

Although Senate Democrats passed both a budget bill and a variety of tax hikes earlier in May to pay for it, House Democrats couldn't agree on what to do. Try to meet Gov. Bruce Rauner’s demands, as the Senate tried and failed to do with the so-called grand bargain? 

Or go it alone, as the Senate ended up doing.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says his fellow Democrats are concerned about how they saw Rauner working with the Senate.

“He would negotiate, then back away, negotiate, backin' away", said Madigan. "There’s a concern. They just don’t have a high level of confidence in how the governor has conducted himself."

In a statement, Madigan denounced Rauner's "reckless strategy of holding the budget hostage to create leverage for his corporate agenda." Rauner has insisted for two years that he would approve a balanced budget in return for business-friendly "structural" changes and a property tax freeze. 

Madigan's budget negotiator, Chicago Democrat Greg Harris, says there is reluctance to act on the $37 billion budget proposal that the Illinois Senate approved, because Senate Republicans didn't provide any votes for passage. 

The House is set to continue meeting through the month of June. But starting June 1, approval of a state budget will require a three-fifths supermajority vote in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.