House Democrats Say They're Finalizing A State Budget Proposal
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said Democrats are finalizing a proposed state budget plan and could present it to minority Republicans as soon as Tuesday.
Madigan and fellow Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris would not discuss details but said they're devising a spending plan and revenue to pay for it. It might be ready for discussion at Tuesday's meeting of the four legislative leaders.
Harris said designated House Democrats continue meeting with Republican colleagues to discuss "non-budget'' issues demanded by GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. They include cost-saving changes to workers' compensation and employee-pension programs and a property tax freeze.
The demands are among the reasons Illinois has not had an annual budget plan for two years.
State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, said he's optimistic a budget can be crafted by the deadline. Pritchard said he was most encouraged by this weekend’s talks among the legislative leaders.
“They came out of that with an understanding that Speaker Madigan would produce a budget by hopefully tomorrow," Pritchard said, "which then puts all of the leaders on record with the kind of budget that they would like to see.”
He said with that kind of movement, the state could have a budget by the end of June.
- WNIJ's Guy Stephens and The Associated Press contributed to this report.