Grand Bargain

  • Senate President on balanced budget: “The Senate has done its work”

    Balancing Governors Budget

  • Senate President: We gave governor everything he asked for

    Senate President John J. Cullerton

    Responding to questions from WBEZ’s Tony Sarabia this morning, President John J. Cullerton expressed his frustration with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pledges to veto the balanced budget and reforms the Illinois Senate passed this week. Based on the governor’s proposed spending limits, revenue increases and reform guidelines, the budget Senate Democrats sent to the Illinois House also included $3 billion in cuts.

    “He gave us the budget on Feb. 15 with spending levels and a tax increase request,” Cullerton said. “We gave him exactly what he asked for. We sat down with Republicans and cut $3 billion out of the budget in order to make those two things work and then he told them to vote No.”

    Hear the full interview at WBEZ Radio.

  • Biss: We cannot trust Rauner with the power to overhaul Medicaid

    biss 051717SPRINGFIELD – Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s role in implementing the package of bills considered today by the Illinois Senate:

    “Gov. Rauner expects lawmakers to give him unchecked freedom to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program that insures the poorest Illinois children and senior citizens, but he’s given us absolutely no reason to trust his judgment about what’s best for the people of Illinois.

    “Gov. Rauner has refused to do his job and introduce a balanced budget and instead has claimed in public to support bipartisan Senate negotiations while secretly torpedoing that same work. We have no reason to trust him with carte blanche authority to destroy our safety net and punish the most vulnerable.

    “I am not willing to give Gov. Rauner emergency rulemaking authority to implement Trumpcare in Illinois or cause undocumented children to lose coverage.

    “In the meantime, Gov. Rauner is doing his best to dismantle the Community Care Program that tens of thousands of seniors rely on to live in dignity in their homes, and I cannot support a budget that facilitates his efforts to do just that.

    “Our state urgently needs a budget, and I will continue to do all I can to move us toward a fair budget resolution that adequately funds our priorities. I stand ready to work with anyone toward that goal, and I am prepared to compromise.

    “But I will not accept the premise that we must balance our budget on the backs of senior citizens and the poor.”

  • 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:

  • Senate considers Grand Bargain, Republicans provide little support

    Sen. Pat McGuireMcGuire: “‘Not yet,’ is beginning to sound like ‘Never.’”

    SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, made the following statement Wednesday after the Senate took action on legislation included in the Grand Bargain package:

    “The twelve bills comprising the Grand Bargain were introduced back on January 11,” McGuire said. “They have repeatedly been modified to win bipartisan support. Yet the Rauner Republicans continue to say ‘Not yet,’ which is beginning to sound like ‘Never.’”

  • Clayborne expresses frustration with Grand Bargain vote

    Sen. James F. ClayborneToday, the Illinois Senate failed to advance the remaining proposals in the Grand Bargain package they have been negotiating since January. State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) issued the following statement:

    “Again we had a chance to put people’s livelihoods above politics, but  my colleagues on the other side of the aisle made it clear they are unwilling to compromise. Senate Democrats have worked tirelessly for months on a package of bills to get the state back on track. We have changed the package 35 times in an effort to reach compromise with the governor and Republicans. We cannot waste any more time. We must pass a budget.”

     

  • Senate President presentation to Elmhurst College forum on March 31, 2017 (VIDEO)

    jjc elmhurst2Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton recently spoke at a government forum sponsored by Elmhurst College. His presentation was on the fiscal realities Illinois faces with its budget and why the state needs to get its backlog of unpaid bills under control.

    The following slides accompanied his speech and walk through where the state of Illinois gets its funding, where that funding goes, the true pressures facing the state budget and the devastating trajectory of the backlog of unpaid bills.

    The Senate President has been working on what’s been called a “Grand Bargain” to try to stabilize the state’s finances and enact key economic reforms.

  • Senate President talks about real problems to solving state’s budget woes

    Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton is often invited to speak to groups and organizations about the fiscal realities Illinois faces with its budget. This presentation was put together to help illustrate the real pressures from both the budget and the growing backlog of unpaid bills.

    The following slides walk through where the state of Illinois gets its funding, where that funding goes, the true pressures facing the state budget and the devastating trajectory of the backlog of unpaid bills.

    The Senate President has been working on what’s been called a “Grand Bargain” to try to stabilize the state’s finances and enact key economic reforms.

     

  • Senate President presentation to Elmhurst College forum on March 31, 2017

    Senate President presentation to Elmhurst College forum on March 31, 2017Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton recently spoke at a government forum sponsored by Elmhurst College. His presentation was on the fiscal realities Illinois faces with its budget and why the state needs to get its backlog of unpaid bills under control.

    The following slides accompanied his speech and walk through where the state of Illinois gets its funding, where that funding goes, the true pressures facing the state budget and the devastating trajectory of the backlog of unpaid bills.

    The Senate President has been working on what’s been called a “Grand Bargain” to try to stabilize the state’s finances and enact key economic reforms.

    Read more: Senate President presentation to Elmhurst College forum on March 31, 2017

  • It's time to cut a deal

    jjc cr presser 011017

  • Senate Dems' analysis of governor's budget plan raises questions

    jjc analysis

    After hearing Governor Rauner's speech to the General Assembly, Senate President John Cullerton provided caucus members with an analysis of the governor's 2018 budget proposal late yesterday. Prepared by Senate Democrats' Policy and Budget staff, the analysis looks at the increases, cuts and gaps in the budget.

    The governor's proposal estimates revenues for 2018 of $32.7 billion and $37.3 in spending. It relies on the Senate's "grand bargain" plan -- still under negotiation -- for $4.6 billion toward that gap.