Senate President Cullerton Talks Up Merits of Proposed Budget Package

Feb 6, 2017

It's been 19 months since Illinois government had a full budget. Monday in Chicago, Senate President John Cullerton made the case for a deal he's been negotiating with his Republican counterpart.

The bipartisan Senate plan has something for everyone -- to hate. Business groups don't like the higher income tax rates. Labor doesn't want changes to how workers are compensated for injuries.

Cullerton says that's OK -- lobbyists are supposed to represent the interests of their clients.

"But lawmakers need to see the big picture, see beyond the special interests, and do something to save our state."

Cullerton says for every day without a spending plan, Illinois goes 11 million dollars deeper in debt.
"We have a chance to end this dysfunction. We have a chance to restore stability and sanity to our finances. I would ask for your help in convincing my colleagues that this is the right thing to do, and now is the right time to do it."

The Illinois Senate is scheduled to be in session three days this week. Cullerton says after Democrats and Republicans discuss the proposals separately behind closed doors, he plans to hold public votes on the package.

Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have refused to say whether they support or oppose it.