Illinois Senate Puts Brakes on Budget Compromise Plan

Jan 24, 2017

Members of the Illinois Senate spent hours Tuesday considering a deal meant to end Illinois' 18-month budget standoff.

The package has many moving parts. Somewhere between a minimum wage increase, cuts to government pensions, and higher income taxes a diverse group of nay-sayers emerged, spanning the political spectrum from big business to organized labor.

Cinda Klickna is head of the Illinois Education Association, one of the state’s two big teachers’ unions.

At a committee hearing, she spoke against a proposed two-year property tax freeze. Klickna says many schools are already strapped.

“Instead of trying to find an answer to that funding question, we are discussing legislation that would actually worsen the already terrible situation."

Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Don Harmon says leaders still hope to have floor votes on Wednesday, but opposition from interest groups — and among senators — could make that difficult. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno set a Feb. 1 deadline for Senate action.

Republican state Sen. Chris Nybo of Elmhurst called the package ``fluid'' and says it still needs discussion and negotiation.