* No surprise here…
“There’s been a lot of anticipation this week about voting on a so-called grand bargain,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. “Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re to the point of being able to take a vote. That is by no means a statement that we are backing off of this effort.”
Instead, Radogno said, the dozen bills that make up the package are continuing to undergo revisions that she said will make the package better in the long run.
“It is hard and none of us are going to like this in the end,” Radogno said. “A lot of ideas that have made this even more difficult, but will make this better in the end have come from members.”
Senate President John Cullerton said he was “encouraged by the progress we’ve made.”
“So if we need more time to pull this together, I’m going to consider that encouraging,” he said. “The problems we face are not going to disappear. In fact, they are going to get more difficult every day.”
But a series of public hearings and private meetings throughout the week revealed too many roadblocks. Some Republicans said the measure didn’t do enough to cut costs, and Democrats who control the Senate countered that they weren’t going to pass the legislation without GOP votes. […]
“It’s progress that might have seemed impossible just a few weeks ago,” Cullerton said. “So, if we need more time to pull this together, I am going to consider that encouraging. But then, it’s going to come time to make a decision. To reiterate, the problems we face are not going to disappear. In fact, they are going to get more difficult every day.”
“It’s incredibly complicated, and the more you try to refine it, the more things crop up,” Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said.
The pressure from some labor groups was enough for the leaders to remove one of the 13 bills, a minimum wage bill which would have raised the Illinois minimum wage to $9 an hour beginning on July 1. it would increase by 50 cents until 2021 when it would reach $11. Some labor groups wanted the hike to reach $15, which halted the bill.
And there’s also concern over elements in the workers’ compensation bill. […]
Radogno’s self-described “pep talk” also included a warning: “We’re going to have to come here and take some hard votes. …There’s going to be a lot of pressure on us when we go home, on you guys from certain elements, on us [the Senate leaders] from certain elements. Don’t succumb to that. We need to do this together for the good of the state.”
Cullerton told senators the problems the state face aren’t going to disappear. They’re only getting worse.
* Human services agencies call for ‘common sense solutions’
* Chuck Sweeny: Bruce Rauner praises Senate compromise; Dave Syverson says it’s not ready for prime time: Syverson, who is taking heat from conservative groups for supporting a tax increase, insisted that the state’s financial condition is so dire that cuts alone won’t solve the problem. He wants any income tax increase to be temporary, perhaps four years. Democrats want a permanent increase. Syverson can’t support the Senate package as it is now. “It’s not good for Rockford. There’s a $750 million tax on new businesses. Any new business will have to pay $250, and it goes up depending on the number of people you hire. That makes no sense. We’re trying to encourage companies to invest here, and this doesn’t help,” Syverson said.
* Phil Kadner: Illinois in the universe of alternative facts
* Senators pitch tax on ‘privilege’ of doing business in Illinois, among other tax hike proposals
* Illinois Senate budget proposal weak on consolidation: This bill would probably result in only minimal change, as it is unlikely that township employees or board members would vote to eliminate their own jobs by dissolving their townships.