(CBS) – With Illinois just two weeks away from fiscal Armageddon, Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back into session for a last-ditch effort to hammer out a state budget.
CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley explains why tougher rules now in place for passing anything in Springfield may actually be a blessing in disguise.
Republican Rauner took to Facebook demanding lawmakers return to Springfield to face the budget mess. He says the session will continue until a “balanced budget is passed.”
What’s different now is that after Democrats complained for months that Rauner’s demands kept shifting, Republicans have put it in writing.
“Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Rauner says.
The plan includes tax hikes.
“We will support and work on new revenue if they work with us on reforms,” Illinois House Minority Leader James Durkin says.
Also different: Passing anything in special session requires a three-fifths vote, making bipartisan buy-in a must in the Illinois House. Like the Senate, it is controlled by a Democratic majority.
“Now, by definition, you need to have Republicans and Democrats,” Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, says.
Cullerton notes the Senate already passed a balanced budget, including many Rauner-requested reforms. Then, he says, the governor balked and said the reforms didn’t go far enough.
Thursday, Chicago Mayor Emanuel also called for Rauner to understand compromise is not defeat.
That special session will begin June 21 and it will last possibly until the July 1 deadline when the new fiscal year begins.
What isn’t clear is just what stance House Speaker Mike Madigan will take. House Democrats refused to vote on the budget the senate passed, largely because they didn’t want to be blamed alone for raising taxes.