* The Senate’s leaders are at today’s Daily Herald editorial board meeting…
It ain’t. Not alone, anyway. Subscribers know more.
* More from the Sun-Times editorial board meeting yesterday…
As far as the revenue package, the leaders said there’s still room for changes, but Cullerton ruled out an expansion of the sales tax base [to services] for the package. Both leaders also said they’re in support of taxing six-figure retirement incomes but said that measure would be hard to pass, Radogno saying politically, it’s a “third rail.” […]
And the leaders are playing coy about saying the income tax hike would be capped at 4.95 percent.
“We’re taking input,” Illinois Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said when asked about a cap at a Sun-Times Editorial Board meeting on Thursday.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton also refused to say whether the hike is set in stone.
“The principle here is we’d like it to be as low as possible. But the principle here is to make sure we have a balanced budget going forward for fiscal year 2018,” Cullerton said, adding he’s looking at a budget office analysis and is looking at its deficit and assumption of spending. “And we’re going to see where we are with our members on some of these other revenue provisions like the soda tax to see if we can get to the point where we have a sufficient amount of money to have cuts — but a balanced budget.”
* Mark Brown: Rare and refreshing—Democrat, Republican working together: It’s very difficult to force Madigan’s hand, but in the interest of self-preservation for his members — and retaining the House leadership he covets above all else — it’s possible the Senate moves will motivate him to find common ground as well.
* Sun-Times Editorial: Listen to Illinois Senate leaders and say uncle: If approved by the Senate, the budget package will move to the House, dropping right into Madigan’s lap. The Speaker might then face a defining choice: Get behind this effort or be shown up as a man who, as his critics like to say, cares about nothing but power. The grand bargain contains much that should appeal to Madigan, such as a hike in the minimum wage to $11 by 2021 and Chicago-friendly changes to how the state funds schools. But it includes a few victories for Rauner, as well, including term limits for legislative leaders, a property tax freeze and workers’ comp reforms.
* Senate leaders want to grab momentum for massive budget plan next week: Radogno said she did not consider the release of the spending estimates as Rauner trying to tamp down the Senate’s progress. “I will take the governor at his word, his public comments have been that he wants to see this process continue and see where we can get,” she said. “And those have been his public comments. Those have been his private comments to me. He has never said, ‘Don’t do this.’”
* VIDEO: Cullerton, Radogno Discuss Budget ‘Grand Bargain’
* Voice of the Southern: Thumbs down to the 550 days the state has been without a budget, and to Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly for failing to reach a budget agreement. Forging a budget is one of the basic job requirements of our elected officials. They simply won’t, or are unable, to do their jobs. Their inability to perform that basic task is hurting everyone in the state. People are leaving the State of Illinois. Those of us staying are seeing our parks crumble, our schools left without funding and our services wondering how to foot the bill. We bounce from crisis to crisis, day to day. In the meantime, bills and debt service is piling up. If the state were a business, it would have been forced to close its doors. It’s time to go to work. It’s time to get things done.
* Tribune editorial board: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯