* Kurt Erickson…
“We do not have the votes for a doomsday budget,” said Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon. “To us, there has to be another alternative.”
That alternative could be what insiders are calling a “maintenance budget,” that keeps spending near current levels by extending payment cycles for state contractors and reverses gains made on paying down a massive backlog of bills.
“We would return to the days when you’re just trying to hold the budget together with bailing wire and Band-aids,” Phelon said.
It also would give lawmakers some breathing room to see who wins the race for governor in November.
In other words, they’d make the spending match revenues by using bill payment money for programmatic spending and pushing even more vendor payments off to the future.
* The Question: Your thoughts on a “maintenance budget”?
*** UPDATE *** Since this appears to be off the table (a scenario described to me by a top Madigan guy the other day), the maintenance budget may be the only option left…
Madigan disputed a report in Friday’s Capitol Fax political newsletter that the speaker raised the idea of forwarding to Quinn the $38 billion in spending bills that passed the House last week and letting him make spending cuts if the tax-extension doesn’t pass.
“We’re not moving in that direction,” the speaker said.