Senate leaders this week are hoping to revive their sweeping budget proposal, which has stalled after the governor weighed in on the plan.
The latest talks center on a potential tax hike, with negotiators saying Rauner is pushing to make any income tax increase temporary. They say his office wants that hike to be limited to five years and paired with a five-year property tax freeze.
Some Democrats are worried about a temporary hike, saying it would create a funding “cliff” in the future (that’s what happened when the 2011 temporary income tax hike expired in 2015). They also are concerned about extending a property tax freeze for that long. They instead want a two-year freeze that would allow local voters to say if they want to extend it for three more years. […]
Senate lawmakers plan to meet behind closed doors Wednesday, when they are likely to decide whether to move ahead with another round of voting on the plan, which is being negotiated by Senate President John Cullerton and Republican leader Christine Radogno.
Senator Bill Brady, (R)-Bloomington, has introduced 7 budget bills he says will create the first balanced budget the state has seen in years.
The Bloomington Republican announced his package of bills Tuesday afternoon, which he says contain $5 billion in cuts. “Cuts are never easy, and I don’t anticipate the cuts outlined in this budget will be well received by everybody, but given the situation that our state is operating at a court ordered spending plan, with billions of dollars of deficit spending it’s time to fix Illinois fiscal crisis.” he said.
Senator Brady says his proposal provides for selling revenue bonds totaling $6 billion to reduce the state’s backlog of unpaid bills and save the state millions of dollars in interest costs.
“The state’s unpaid bills now total almost $13 billion, or $1,000 for every man, woman and child in the state. If we do nothing, our unpaid bills, what we owe to medical providers, social service agencies and other vendors, will grow to move than $20 billion over the next two years. That’s not the message Illinois out to be sending to the world, and it’s not the kind of system we should ask Illinoisans to accept.” he said.
Senator Brady says this budget package is not being proposed as a replacement for the Grand Bargain, rather a supplement to it. “I have always said that a balanced budget must be an integral part of the grand compromise that the Senate has worked on. While I appreciate the hard work and progress that has gone into some of these proposals, nobody has been talking about a budget. What I’m proposing is a balanced budget that takes into account the new revenues from that compromise but also includes more than $5 billion in general revenue fund spending cuts, adjustments and cost savings, including 5 percent across-the-board cuts for most of state government outside elementary and secondary education.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Ugh…
From the story…
“Now that I’ve read it, what I see is that there’s a significant departure from our agreement,” he says. “There’s a lengthy list of things that do not reflect our agreement. Some of those are things we discussed and I thought we had an agreement on, but the amendment doesn’t reflect that. Others are concepts that were never discussed that are being introduced now in this amendment.” […]
But after actually reading Manar’s plan, Barickman asked for lots of big changes. Manar points out that Senate Republicans have never filed a school funding reform bill, and suggests it’s time for them to do so. If they do, Manar says, “I guarantee I will have it heard in the Senate education committee.”
That bill is an integral part of the grand bargain. No SB1, no grand bargain.
…Adding… Barickman did sponsor an education funding reform bill and Manar was a co-sponsor. So it has been done before. Click here.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Yep. Subscribers know more…