* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin on the budget negotiations…
Durkin said last summer’s state income tax hike is making things easier. Democrats – joined by some Republicans – imposed the $5 billion tax increase over the governor’s veto in 2017, breaking a two-and-a-half-year budget impasse.
“I’m not going to be overly optimistic until I see more progress made, but the fact is we’re in a better place than we were last year and the year before,” Durkin said.
* And here’s Senate President John Cullerton…
Cullerton said if talks do break down this year, as they did last summer, Democrats are prepared to go it alone.
“Then we’ll have to go ahead and pass our own budget with as much cooperation from Republicans as we can get,” he said.
It’s a lot easier this year because no tax increases are involved, but this governor has yet to prove that he can negotiate a real budget and the Democrats believe they may have enough Republican votes to override a potential Rauner veto.