Senate President John Cullerton
Illinois lawmakers continued to grapple Wednesday with a new state budget, as Republicans ripped majority Democrats for spending beyond their means with a plan even Democrats acknowledge leaves “big unanswered questions” about the state’s finances.
Having given up on extending Illinois’ temporary income tax increase — at least for now — the Illinois Legislature is moving forward with a scaled-back budget that could lead to layoffs, further delays in paying the state’s bills and a post-election vote to make the tax hike permanent or generate some other source of revenue.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday that his chamber’s effort to pass a budget without first securing all the needed revenue would aid a push to make an income tax hike permanent, but his colleagues in the Senate were not happy with the unusual move.
Senate Republicans crying foul after Gov. Pat Quinn used a rare procedural maneuver to try to aid the confirmation of two appointees announced several efforts Thursday to close what they described as a constitutional loophole.
The Illinois Legislature approved a historic plan Tuesday to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, a vote that proponents described as critical to repairing the state’s deeply troubled finances but that faces the immediate threat of a legal challenge from labor unions.
Illinois’ legislative leaders briefed other lawmakers Friday on details of a breakthrough agreement for solving the state’s $100 billion pension crisis, leaving them four days to study the plan before facing a vote that could be crucial for the state’s financial condition and their own re-election plans.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s appeal of a ruling that his veto of lawmakers’ pay was unconstitutional will be heard by the Illinois Supreme Court.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued after Gov. Pat Quinn used his veto power earlier this summer to cut money for legislators’ salaries from the state budget.
A leading state lawmaker said a bipartisan pension reform committee has been making progress toward a deal, though not as quickly as they’d like.
“This is going to be a landmark case,” said Gov. Pat Quinn, who used his veto power last month to block lawmakers’ salaries over their failure to reach an agreement on pension reform.
A meeting between Gov. Pat Quinn and the state’s four legislative leaders ended Friday afternoon without much progress towards pension reform, and it appears next week’s special session won’t bring a solution.
House Speaker Michael Madigan has taken steps to replace Senate President John Cullerton’s pension reform plan with his own plan, even though the speaker’s plan was soundly defeated in the Senate last month.
Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross said Wednesday that he believes there’s an ulterior motive behind the ongoing pension reform standoff between House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.
After meeting with Gov. Pat Quinn for more than an hour and a half, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton seemed friendly, but not much closer to resolving their differences over pension reform.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan might not be in touch with Gov. Pat Quinn, but there might be some behind-the-scenes work ahead to resolve the state’s pension reform impasse before a special session of the General Assembly on June 19.
Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka threw her support behind Senate President John Cullerton’s pension plan on Tuesday, calling it the best bet for solving the state’s $100 billion pension crisis.
The Senate’s overwhelming rejection of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s fix for a $97 billion retirement-plan crisis leaves lawmakers heading into their final day in the Capitol on Friday with the state’s most pressing crisis continuing to stare them in the face.
A study by the We Are One Illinois coalition shows that if half of employees and retirees choose to forgo post-career health insurance as part of Senate President John Cullerton’s proposal, the state’s debt to two health insurance programs would be cut in half, by $26 billion.
The Democrat-controlled Legislature began piecing together a new state budget Tuesday that avoids the steep cuts of recent years and also gave final approval to a historic expansion of Medicaid, as Republicans accused their colleagues across the aisle of having “an insatiable appetite to spend money we don’t have.”
Majority Democrats on the committee drove the 10-6 vote in favor of the bill by Sen. Kwame Raoul Raoul said he doesn’t know how many votes he has on the floor or when he’ll call it.