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J.Cullerton

  • “Trust Act” takes big step forward in Illinois Senate

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  • $100 billion and counting

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  • Automatic voter registration moves forward in Illinois (VIDEO, AUDIO)

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  • Clock ticks as Senate Dems try to salvage Illinois economy. Cullerton to Senate: Deal, or no deal? (AUDIO/VIDEO)

    Senate President John J. Cullerton

    SPRINGFIELD — With time running out on lawmakers’ spring session, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton attempted to jumpstart bipartisan budget action only to have Governor Rauner and Republicans block progress.

    Cullerton’s efforts come as the General Assembly draws ever closer to a May 31 deadline on a budget and Gov. Bruce Rauner risks entering a third straight budget year with no state budget and a mountain of unpaid bills that recently topped $13 billion.

    Rauner pulled the plug on budget talks last December even as an emergency deal was about to expire. There has been no state spending plan in place since January 1. Senate leaders stepped in to fill the leadership void and began piecing together a sweeping reform and financial plan intended to end the impasse and stabilize the state’s economy.

    Initially, the Senate made great progress.

    Nearly half of the deal — including key provisions for reducing government, opening up economic development opportunities and cutting bureaucratic red tape — won approval at the end of February. But with the rest of the deal positioned for success on March 1, word came down that Rauner was pulling nearly all the Republican support off the plan. Without those votes, the plan, which was put together by Republicans and Democrats, couldn’t advance.

    While there had been numerous meetings and claims of progress over the ensuing months, nothing had been voted on since the end of February. Cullerton decided last week that the Senate had waited long enough and it was time for action.

    “Every day there’s not a budget, the state spends itself another $11 million into debt. March 1 was 71 days ago. It is now May 10. After today, there are 20 days left before our scheduled adjournment on May 31,” the Senate President told the Senate. “I don’t think we can wait any longer. I believe the public’s patience is wearing thin. One way or another, it’s time to vote.”

    The Senate did approve a provision to give local government greater flexibility in borrowing, something that should result in lower interest rates on financing and result in local taxpayer savings.

    But efforts to vote on and advance reforms to the state benefit system for injured workers and a local property tax freeze stalled because Republicans refused to let the Senate vote on the plans. Republican senators said they needed more time to tinker with the provisions before they would consider voting.

    Cullerton said the Senate will keep working and urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to realize time is running out, recognize the opportunity for compromise and seize it to help save the state’s economy.

    You can watch the Senate President answer reporters’ questions here:

  • Cullerton cites Radogno's cooperation, professionalism

    jjc cr CST 0117SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement regarding the pending retirement of his colleague and friend Republican Leader Christine Radogno.

    She and I began as Senate leaders on the same day. We started our relationship in those roles by voting for each other. We then turned our attention to the impeachment trial. We followed that up with a long-overdue, bipartisan agreement on investing in roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure.

  • Cullerton expects temporary budget agreement (VIDEO)

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  • Cullerton moves veto override on Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (AUDIO)

    jjc veto 120116Today the Senate voted to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 2822 regarding appropriations for the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund. Here is the full text of Senate President John Cullerton's introduction of the bill and audio from the floor action.


    "I move to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 2822. I’d like to explain what the bill does and then give a little reaction to the governor's veto.

  • Cullerton provides cooling-off period for Rauner to rethink student aid veto

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  • 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.

  • Cullerton talks budget numbers, override at City Club (VIDEO)

    jjc cityclub070617Senate President John Cullerton spoke at the City Club's breakfast this morning. Here are his prepared remarks, after which he answered reporters' questions:

    Good morning.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I always look forward to talking to this group.

    I’m pleased to finally have something to talk about in regards to our budget.

    But before I put everyone to sleep with a long discussion of budget numbers, I want to begin with some audience participation.

  • 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.

  • Cullerton to City Club: the time is now for grand bargain (VIDEO)

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  • Cullerton, Radogno continue to work together for Senate compromise

    jjc cr CST 0117President 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.

  • Cullerton: look forward to seeing GOP's mid-June budget plans

    jjc 053117trustAfter today’s Republican press conference on their mid-June budget proposal, the following statement was released from John Patterson, spokesman for Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton:

    “It’s going to require bipartisan compromise to get to a balanced budget signed into law and get Illinois out of this situation. That’s the reality now that the May 31 deadline passed. We hope this is a serious, real step toward that compromise by House and Senate Republicans. But a Republicans-only, mid-June news conference doesn’t exactly scream bipartisan compromise.

  • Cullerton: Tuesday’s meeting was a start

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  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

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  • Governor vetoes MAP, community college funding for Illinois students

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  • House approves minimum wage increase to $15, Senate ready to vote

    minwage 053017Today the Illinois House approved Senate Bill 81 which increases the minimum wage in Illinois. The measure was initiated in the Senate and increases the minimum wage over five years to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022.

    Senate President John J. Cullerton statement on House approval of a minimum wage increase:

    “The Senate has been waiting a long time for this. I hope that my assurances that this will get a vote in the Senate helped give the House members the courage to do the right thing. The Senate is ready to take this up if the House can get the paperwork over to us.”

  • Illinois Senate President Applauds Mayor Emanuel’s Leadership on City Finances

    Illinois Senate President Applauds Mayor Emanuel’s Leadership on City FinancesCHICAGO – Senate President John J. Cullerton released the following statement regarding Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2016 budget address.

    “I join Mayor Emanuel in his efforts to both celebrate and protect our world-class city. We simply cannot ignore the painful reality that the city’s looming pension debt is threatening the financial stability of Chicago.  In the coming days, city and state leaders will be calling on Chicagoans to accept the challenges and financial obligations that come with maintaining the progress of the city that is the economic engine of Illinois.

  • It's time to cut a deal

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