Illinois Senate Democrats have scheduled votes for measures in the so-called “grand bargain” budget compromise.
Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter of Chicago says the Senate will call each piece of legislation in the plan for votes on Wednesday. He says time is running out to agree to the state’s first budget in two years. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31. […]
Trotter says the Senate needs to know where the votes are for agreeing to a budget. So each bill will stand alone. Even bills that have passed were recalled Tuesday to be voted on again as stand-alone measures.
Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont, says Radogno remains hopeful negotiations can continue.
* Sen. Bill Brady in the Sun-Times…
“We’re more focused on where we can prioritize spending but reduce systemic growth and spending so it is a balanced plan. We’ve already said that we’d be willing to consider an [income tax] increase of 1.2 percent. That would be temporary along with a property tax freeze,” Brady said. “Probably the biggest stumbling block is we need [a] real property tax freeze, real relief.”
“I hope they don’t blow this all up prematurely,” Brady said of Senate Democrats. “We’re still hopeful.” […]
On Tuesday, the Senate moved several “grand bargain” bills into position to see movement on the Senate floor on Wednesday. Those measures include local government consolidation, procurement reform, the second half of a spending plan for the fiscal year 2017 and gaming.
Cullerton spokesman John Patterson warned of the ticking clock, and said the Senate president believes it’s time to act on reforms and a balanced budget.
As the end-of-session jockeying to avoid blame and assign it elsewhere begins, there may be another round of voting on portions of the plan as soon as Wednesday.
Democrats took procedural holds off several bills in the “grand bargain” package that already have passed, with the plan to remove provisions that linked the bills so that if one failed, they all failed. Democrats now say time is running out and they are eager to try to get Republicans to weigh in one way or the other.
“There are some people who’ve indicated that they don’t want to vote for bills that are all tied together, some people who would be willing to vote for a revenue package and then some people who aren’t willing to, under any circumstances, vote for a revenue package but may like some of the other reform ideas that have been negotiated in the bipartisan fashion,” said Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields, a key budget negotiator. “Maybe that might help to get to passage of the individual pieces.”
Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said it would be “a huge mistake” for Democrats to press ahead while details continue to be worked out.
* From the Senate Democrats…