Rauner Pitches Stopgap Budget; Democrats Say Not Today

May 31, 2016

Illinois Democrats say they will not pass Gov. Bruce Rauner's last-minute pitch for a stopgap state budget -- at least not today, the final day of the legislature's regular spring session.

Just days ago, Rauner's office nixed the idea of a temporary budget -- something Senate President John Cullerton had floated -- saying it would kick the can down the road.

Now, he's had a "turnaround." He's pushing a plan to fund schools, finally pay what's owed to cash-starved social service agencies, and generally keep things running through the calendar year.

Democrats didn't dismiss it out of hand, but they're not saying yes.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says legislators who are on the a private, small group called by the governor to discuss budget matters, will take time to consider it: "I made that very clear in the meeting, this is not something that's going to happen today," he said."

Madigan has said the House will be in every Wednesday in June, save for tomorrow, June 1.

Republican leaders, who are in the minority in the General Assembly, pushed back, saying Democrats' stance is "disappointing."

"It absolutely can be accomplished," Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said. "Every single rank and file Democrat who sides with their leader against keeping the state operating wears the collar."

Democrats continue to pursue an alternate plan, which Gov. Rauner has promised to veto.