Democratic Lawmakers Are Skeptic About Latest State Budget Proposals From Republicans

CHICAGO (CBS) — Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly are taking a “wait and see” attitude about proposals for a budget compromise outlined on Wednesday by Republican lawmakers.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said Governor Rauner has assured him he would sign a budget along the lines of the latest GOP plan. And Durkin said he would get some Republicans to vote for an income tax increase — a temporary one. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

“I wish we did not have to pass a tax increase, but the fact is, when you are sitting on $12 billion of unpaid bills, you have budgets that have gone awry,” Durkin said.

He said the budget compromise would also include reforms the governor has demanded, like term limits for legislative leaders.

“We are not going to go in and say we are going to have reform-light or anything that is significantly diluted. It will be based on if they counter us on any of these measures.”

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate agree a bipartisan compromise is needed. But, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said when they can see actual bills and amendments, then they can judge if the Republicans are serious.

A spokesman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton said Democrats hope this is a serious, real step toward a needed resolution to the budget crisis by House and Senate republicans. But, he said, a Republicans-only, mid-June news conference doesn’t exactly scream bipartisan compromise.

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