*** UPDATED x3 - Harris, Brown respond - Cullerton office responds - Biss responds *** A quick look at the GOP’s new plan, which Rauner supports
Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017
* An analysis of the new Republican budget/reform plan can be read by clicking here. No legislation has been filed as I write this. I’ll update with bill numbers when I get them. You can hear the entire GOP press conference by clicking here. The GOP press release is here.
* As expected, there was lots of hyperpartisanship on display at today’s Republican press conference to unveil their new budget and reform plan, which they said would be signed by Gov. Rauner if it was passed.
House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, for instance, said Speaker Madigan’s members should “no longer put up with Madigan’s my way or the highway” approach. He said if an agreement could not be reached by the end of June, it would all be on Madigan’s head.
Leader Durkin insisted that the Republicans would not settle for “reform light” and that the final plan must be in “substantial compliance” with the proposals set forth today. If the Democrats counter with something that is “significantly diluted,” he said he and the governor wouldn’t accept it.
Sen. Karen McConnaughay said that the two sides were “very close” on an agreement in the Senate, but that the bills the Senate actually passed “didn’t reflect what we had been negotiating.” McConnaughay said it was the Democrats who “walked away” from the talks.
Sen. Dale Righter insisted that the package presented today “are compromises,” claiming “We’re putting on paper what the Democratic majority said they needed in the meetings… So, we are already there.”
* But is this really a compromise? The Senate Democrats ultimately rejected a four-year property tax freeze, but the Republicans say their four-year freeze is a compromise from Rauner’s permanent freeze - except the governor has been saying for weeks that he wants a four-year freeze.
A local government consolidation bill has already passed, but the Republicans now say they want to allow voters to initiate referendums on their own to consolidate government. This is another demand from the governor’s office, which had quietly threatened to veto the previous consolidation bill. Rank and file Republicans promised they’d push for a trailer bill if he agreed to sign it, and this proposal is apparently that plan.
The education funding reform bill “compromise” seems mainly targeted at Chicago, reducing many of the gains CPS made with the Democrats’ bill.
And the term limits proposal expands the concept from the originally agreed (in the Senate) limit on legislative leaders to include all constitutional officers.
* The Republicans also want a “hard” spending cap of $36 billion over four years. The Senate Democrats’ bill spent over $37 billion.
The budget proposal would also cut revenue sharing to local governments (which would, remember, have their property taxes capped) and transit agencies.
Again, we don’t have a detailed analysis, so I can’t tell you much more besides what’s in the GOP analysis.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Sen. Daniel Biss…
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Senate President Cullerton’s spokesman John Patterson via text…
* From the Senate Republicans…
*** UPDATE 3 *** Greg Hinz…