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Cullerton thinks budget deal could be close; Senate plan being used as framework (AUDIO)

jjc press 062717SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President John Cullerton expressed continued optimism that a state budget deal can be reached before the end of the week and prevent Illinois from going another year without a budget.

The Illinois House has begun amending the balanced budget plans the Senate previously approved, and legislative leaders met again Tuesday to try to hammer out a compromise.

Morrison meets with new acting director of DCFS

morrison 062717SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) met with new Acting Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Beverly Walker this afternoon during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee.

“Today’s hearing gave members of the Senate the opportunity to learn about Director Walker’s background and her ideas for bringing lasting change to DCFS,” Morrison said. “As seen by today’s high level of interest from Senators on both sides of the aisle, the Senate is committed to working with Acting Director Walker to address the monumental challenges facing this troubled agency.”

Cullerton reacts to Rauner's Iowa trip away from budget work

58cc66efdbd49.image On Monday, the governor could be found in Iowa at a groundbreaking on a bi-state construction project to build a new I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River. The Illinois Department of Transportation are parters with their Iowa counterparts on the project designed to improve safety and better travel.

Senate President John J. Cullerton is concerned: while the project is good for Illinois, without a budget solution, might this be the last such project if the state's credit rating is downgraded to junk status? Other lawmakers wondered why the governor spent the day in Iowa when dire, pressing budget impasse effects continue as the fiscal year clock runs down.

Nothing for Rauner, anyone else to be happy about amid financial chaos, says Senate President

happy raunerSPRINGFIELD -- With a financial crisis erupting around his administration, Governor Bruce Rauner recently told a Chicago columnist that he’s the happiest he’s been in 20 years.

Senate President John Cullerton was asked for his response and said there’s nothing for the governor or anyone else to be happy about.

“This is really an embarrassment,” Cullerton told reporters at a Capitol news conference. “We owe $15 billion. We’ve been downgraded. People are not being paid. People are not being served. There’s people who aren’t getting breast cancer screenings because of this. ... It’s just sad. It’s totally avoidable.”

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