Grand Bargain

Illinois House Democrats are taking their time in considering the state budget plan sent them this week by the Senate.

Chicago Rep. Greg Harris is the Democrats' budget negotiator. He says lawmakers' first goal is to review the spending plan and put it in a form the public can understand.

The Illinois Senate has approved a $5 billion income tax increase to fund what Democrats say would be a balanced, $37.3 billion budget.

A Democratic majority pushed the measures through despite opposition from Republicans.

The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" budget compromise comes down to three pieces of legislation.

There's a $36.5 billion outline for spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The state hasn't had a budget since 2015 because of wrangling between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Illinois Senate has adjourned without taking action on remaining items from the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise.

Democrats who run the chamber had said they might push forward Thursday with remaining items after approving several parts of the compromise on Wednesday.

The Senate has approved a $36.5 billion budget that was initiated by minority Republicans. But, it turned down authority to implement it.

The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 31-21 to approve the proposed outlay for the year that begins July 1.

The Illinois Senate is plunging back into the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise with three weeks remaining in the legislative session.

The Senate voted to give local governments flexibility on paying debts. It's one of the few measures with bipartisan support in a package that's supposed to help break a logjam on a state budget deal.

The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the budget impasse. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One. Under the plan filed by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the state would freeze funding at current levels. Any additional dollars would be distributed based on each district’s demographics and unique needs, channeling the bulk of the money toward low-income districts.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Democratic state senators Wednesday rejected a push by Republicans to give Governor Bruce Rauner extraordinary budget powers.

It would've let Rauner cut spending across government -with few areas of government off limits ... such as elementary education and debt payments.  At a hearing, Democratic Senator Don Harmon pushed Rauner's budget director, Scott Harry, to say just what the governor planned to cut.

Illinois Senate Democrats are asking state agency heads to answer for Governor Bruce Rauner's decision to pull votes off the "grand bargain."

The governor's own budget proposal depends on the grand bargain - otherwise it's short by $4.6 billion dollars.

The Illinois Senate has adjourned without pushing its stalled budget compromise further, but a Senate Democrat filed legislation Thursday spelling out services that could be subject to the state sales tax to battle a budget deficit.

The Illinois Senate returns to work a day after acrimony over a failed attempt to reach a budget compromise. 

Illinois moved a few inches closer to having a budget Tuesday.

The state Senate began voting on its so-called “grand bargain.”

The deal has changes to business law long favored by Republicans, and a tax hike members of both parties have said is necessary to balance the state budget.

The Illinois Senate could make another run at the so-called Grand Bargain.

Higher Education and money
WSIU / WSIU

The Illinois Senate is expected to continue its work on the so-called "Grand Bargain" this week - and many fear this is the last, best hope for a spending plan.