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The Majority Report 02/27/17 - If not now, when?

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An important message from Senate President John Cullerton

An important message from Senate President John CullertonIllinois has gone more than nearly two years without a real state budget. This week the Illinois Senate will try to do something about it.

Nearly one dozen proposals addressing a range of issues – empowering voters, reducing government, raising revenues, balancing the budget, paying people on time and more – are positioned for a vote in the Senate.

It's time to cut a deal.

The lingering uncertainty over Illinois’ finances has sent college students flocking to out-of-state schools. Plummeting enrollment here threatens the existence of our once nationally acclaimed higher education network.

Illinois is losing jobs, losing futures and losing opportunities.

This week, we have a chance to show people that we care about more than politics. We have a chance to show people that we are up to the job and that we do indeed care about the future of this state.

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce president and CEO is the latest to weigh in on the need for compromise.

“A grand bargain will come. Illinois can't survive without a responsible budget and necessary economic reforms,” Theresa Mintle wrote in Crain’s Chicago Business last week. “The cost of doing nothing is real and makes the consequences all the more inhibitive and painful from a human and financial cost perspective.”

In recent weeks, other key leaders and opinion writers across the state have offered similar support, urging everyone to set aside politics and see the big picture.

Yes, even Gov. Bruce Rauner is relying on the Senate. The budget he recently unveiled is billions of dollars out of balance and assumes passage of the grand bargain to achieve savings.

Will the Senate deal be successful this week? I learned a long time ago not to make predictions on things I can’t control.

A better question is whether it needs to be successful. And we all know the answer to that.


In case you missed it

MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Senator Omar Aquino, Chicago: Aquino questions Rauner budget’s commitment to immigrants (Lawndale News, Chicago)

Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: Illinois women, senator challenging gender inequality norms (Columbia Chronicle, Chicago)

Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Waubonsee president, state senator participate in annual event (Kane County Chronicle, St. Charles)

Senator Bill Haine, Alton: Illinois could legalize gun suppressors (Fox Illinois)

Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Critics of civil asset forfeiture say innocent people pay (Northern Public Radio)

Senator Napoleon Harris III, Harvey: How long should injured pro athletes get workers’ comp? (The Associated Press)

Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: Hastings expands scope of veterans’ property tax exemptions (Daily Southtown)

Senator Toi Hutchinson, Chicago Heights: Slash tax on safe sex, suburban legislator says (Chicago Tribune)

Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: AFSCME will announce results of strike-authorization vote (The State Journal-Register, Springfield)

Senator Pat McGuire, Joliet: Joliet students receive 60 Amazon tablet devices (The Herald-News, Joliet)

Senator Martin Sandoval, Chicago: Sandoval promotes minority-owned and small businesses (Lawndale News, Chicago)

Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Lawmakers consider automatic voter registration bill (WREX TV, Rockford)

 


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