* From a press release…
Speaker Madigan Forms Panel to Review Governor’s Budget Decisions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help legislators craft the state’s next budget that begins July 1, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan on Friday announced the creation of a special House budget oversight panel to closely examine recent budget decisions made by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Governor Rauner has talked about cutting non-essential state spending for a number of months. In light of recent budget actions, and as we prepare to craft the next state budget, it’s important to have an in-depth discussion about what the governor believes is non-essential,” Madigan said. “While I believe that a budget solution should include a balance of spending cuts and additional revenue, as a state it’s also our duty to protect our most vulnerable citizens, including children with autism, persons with developmental disabilities and lower-income women in need of breast cancer screenings.”
Madigan said the budget review panel will be led by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, and Assistant Majority Leader John Bradley, D-Marion, and include the chairmen of the five House appropriations committees. Madigan has invited House Republicans to name members to the panel.
“The Legislature has a monumental task ahead in crafting a responsible and realistic budget, and it’s imperative we have a clear understanding of the governor’s methods and his math,” Currie said. “For instance, in his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, the governor is claiming more than $2 billion in pension savings from a bill that has not even been debated, let alone passed into law, and $700 million in health care savings that has been neither debated nor approved. We can’t draft a budget with magic money that does not exist.”
“As we work through the budget plan for the next fiscal year, House Democrats are committed to protecting middle-class families and our most vulnerable citizens, protecting funding for schools, and creating jobs and rebuilding our roads, bridges and mass transit through a new infrastructure program,” Madigan said. “The budget we support will reflect those values and I’m optimistic the governor will show us how his plan accomplishes that.”
During remarks at the House’s inauguration in January, Madigan cited the state’s finances as the most important issue facing Illinois. Madigan said addressing the deficit and passing a spending plan will require bipartisan cooperation with Rauner and legislative Republicans – cooperation Madigan hopes will begin in earnest with the budget review committee.
“As I have pledged since he was elected, I plan to work with Governor Rauner professionally and cooperatively,” Madigan said. “That’s why I worked with the governor to address the current fiscal year’s budget. Now that decisions continue being made that impact a number of residents and families throughout the state, it’s important that the governor fully disclose how he reached those decisions.”
The budget review panel will hold its first meeting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 21 in Room 114 of the Capitol.
That mention of autism is no accident. Madigan thought he had a deal.
*** UPDATE *** From the governor’s office…
“One month ago, child care in Illinois had run out of money, court reporters were being sent home and prison guards were on the verge of missing payroll. Thanks to bipartisan legislation approved by the General Assembly in conjunction with continued fiscal management steps taken by the administration, millions of people around Illinois continue to be served by core state services. Governor Rauner remains committed to fixing Illinois’ fiscal crisis through the Turnaround Agenda and restructuring state government. He looks forward to working with the legislature to find a bipartisan solution that puts Illinois on the road to becoming the most competitive state in the country.”