Durbin Warns Government Shutdown Is Not The Way To Go For Illinois
Top Illinois officials are far apart on a budget deal with nine days left of the new fiscal year. Parents with kids in school would be among those bracing for a possible state shutdown.
Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin — who’s been in Congress through three major federal shutdowns — says allowing that to happen in Illinois would be “a disaster.”
“If our state fails to reach an agreement on a budget — I’m told by August the sixth — a hundred schools districts, including the city of Chicago, will have to announce they’re not going to open their classes on schedule,” Durbin said. “That is a disaster, which we cannot let happen in our state."
Durbin also says that sort of crisis would be bad for business.
“There’s a lot of talk by Democrats and Republicans about creating a positive business climate,” Durbin said. “Let me tell you: shut down state government is not a positive business climate. A hundred school districts not opening their schools is no attraction for a new business to come to Illinois."
Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders remain at odds over how to balance the state’s spending plan.
Durbin did not place blame on either side. He says they all have a responsibility to make “politically difficult” choices.
While the state is technically supposed to have a budget in place by July 1, it’s possible government operations would not be affected until mid-July or August.