SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Jacqueline Collins, D-Chicago, issued the following statement after voting in favor of the first portions of a state budget compromise.
“Today we moved forward on a number of important key issues that will improve the way government functions,” Collins said. “This is the first step toward an end to this destructive stalemate. I want us to continue moving forward.”
Collins supported reforms to the way state government purchases goods and services, allows voters to combine or eliminate certain units of local government, and allows municipalities to take steps to more effectively issue bonds. Those measures, part of a grand bargain to resolve the state’s budget impasse, all passed Wednesday. While other portions of the bargain stalled due to lack of Republican support, Collins said she remains determined to continue working toward the passage of the full compromise.
Since the first of the year, Senate President John Cullerton and GOP Leader Christine Radogno have been working together to build a legislative package that would end the budget stalement and address a range of policy issues. They have traveled the state speaking to editorial boards of news outlets about the content of the bills, including procurement reform, local government consolidation, pension reform and a property tax freeze.
President Cullerton and Leader Radogno met with the Sun-Times Editorial Board Thursday afternoon to ask for the paper's support on the major legislation package in the works by bipartisan members of the Senate.
The Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Brown's column this morning describes the elements of the package designed to overcome the long-standing budget impasse, as well as characterizing the compromise efforts as refreshing.
Read the full column here.
SPRINGFIELD – Earlier this year, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) passed a measure through the Illinois Senate that will bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the state budgeting process. Her proposal, Senate Bill 2585, was signed into law by the governor today.
It will require the governor’s budget office to annually produce a report containing a four-year budget forecast that also lays out detailed solutions to solve any predicted budgetary shortfalls. The report also must be posted online so it is available to the general public.
SPRINGFIELD – A five-story, 200 bed veterans home on Chicago’s northwest side has stood vacant and half completed since June of last year. The home became a victim of the Illinois budget impasse. Thankfully, construction is set to resume thanks to Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).“It’s outrageous that projects like the Chicago Veterans Home ever got caught in the line of fire with the budget impasse,” Mulroe said. “These men and women served their duty to this country, and we can’t get our act together enough to ensure that they have a dedicated facility at their disposal?”The project broke ground in September of 2014, with a price tag of $70 million, slated to be completed midway through this year. The US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to reimburse the state for up to 65% of the cost to build the facility. However, when funding for the project was not approved, local residents and veterans began to fear the worst.
Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) shares his thoughts on the passage of SB2047, a stopgap budget measure.
Senator Donne E. Trotter (D-Chicago) speaks to SB2047, a negotiated budget agreement that passed the Senate today.
Senator John Sullivan (D-Quincy) speaks to the negotiated stopgap budget.
Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) speaks to the negotiated stopgap budget.
Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) speaks to the negotiated stopgap budget.
Children who come to school with the least deserve our help the most.
Senate President John Cullerton todaywill put up for a vote Senate Bill 2054, a preschool-through-high school (P-12) education funding bill. Under this legislation, school districts throughout the state with low-income students will gain state funding. Students in Chicago will gain, students in downstate communities that have lost their coal mines and factories will gain, and students in every one of the 15 school districts here in Senate District 43 will gain.
Illinois, despite all the bad press, remains the fifth most-populous state with the fifth-largest economy of any state. It is morally right and economically necessary to use our resources to offer all Illinois school children a first-class education.
P-12 funding is the keystone of efforts to pass a state budget to support human services, higher education, public safety and highway construction. Please urge Governor Rauner, the legislative leaders, and Senate and House members to support SB 2054.
Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) holds a press conference in Chicago to discuss the progress of a negotiated budget.
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is continuing to advocate for Rockford schools as the governor appears to now be on board a bipartisan budget. The senator released the statement below:
“Despite his initial opposition to the idea, I am relieved that Gov. Rauner has changed his mind and now supports the stop-gap budget proposed by Illinois Senate Democrats last week. I look forward to working with the governor in a bipartisan manner that keeps state government operating and allows schools to open in August until a permanent resolution is found.
“I’m continuing to work toward an equitable education funding plan that will bring an additional $7 million to $10 million to our schools in Rockford. Failing to change the education funding formula will result in our school districts being forced to slash programs while drastically raising property taxes, a solution Rockford taxpayers cannot afford.
“There is much work to be done. I look forward to continuing to work together to reach a bipartisan solution that protects middle-class families.”
The regular spring session of the General Assembly ended late last night without adoption of a budget. The final words on the Senate floor were those of Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno. Both leaders pledged to continue working toward first a six-month stopgap budget and then a full budget.
The stopgap budget idea, as I mentioned in my last e-newsletter, originated last week with Senate President Cullerton. Yesterday morning, on the final day of regular session, Governor Bruce Rauner took up the idea of a six-month stopgap budget. The governor’s proposed stopgap budget is without Turnaround Agenda demands.
However, both the Illinois Constitution and logistics make it impossible to draft, introduce, debate and adopt a budget in one day.
I take hope from the fact that the bipartisan, bicameral working groups which have been striving to craft a budget are continuing to meet. The goal of the working groups is to reach agreement on a stopgap budget before June 30, the final day of the current fiscal year. We legislators have been told to be ready to return to Springfield whenever a stopgap budget is ready to be voted upon.
The toll the lack of a state budget is taking on individuals, families, organizations and institutions is horrible. Please encourage the four legislative leaders and the governor to do their absolute level best to present a fair, balanced budget as soon as possible.
Senate President John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago) holds a media availability late in the evening on May 31, 2016.
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