Sunday, November 13, 2016

MEANWHILE, BACK IN ILLINOIS, the odds are the state will operate without a budget again to start the new year:
Lawmakers and the governor pressed paused on their long-running budget battle in June by passing a six-month spending plan for most state operations.

The stopgap is set to expire Dec. 31, and it’s unclear whether they’ll be able to put together a plan for the next six months during the veto session.

Rauner has called for a Monday meeting with the four top legislative leaders, although House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, had yet to publicly accept the invitation as of Friday afternoon. A series of such meetings preceded the passage of the stopgap.

It remains to be seen how willing Madigan will be to negotiate with Rauner after the governor contributed nearly $32.6 million of his own money to GOP campaign efforts that demonized Madigan and resulted in his party losing six seats in the next Legislature.

Rauner continues to insist on passing portions of his pro-business, union-weakening “turnaround agenda” before signing off on tax increases to balance the budget. Democrats, meanwhile, continue to argue that Rauner’s policy proposals shouldn’t be tied to the budget.

Passing a deal would be easier after Jan. 1, when only a simple majority would be needed, but it also would mean renewed uncertainty for public universities and social service providers that were starved of funding during the state’s last fiscal year.

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