Temporary Budget Is Next Hope For Springfield Compromise
Illinois state lawmakers are approaching a key deadline to pass a budget - andthere’s still no deal.
\Republican Governor Bruce Rauner announced his support of \ a new plan for a temporary budget Tuesday morning, but Democrats say they’re in no rush to pass that.
Gov Rauner: today we end the legislative failure with stunning failure pic.twitter.com/UNV3JRgAMM— Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) May 31, 2016
It’s setting the stage for a long summer in the statehouse and leaves a lot of questions for Illinois residents. Here are the answers to a few of those:
Why would Governor Rauner want a temporary budget? Wasn’t he against it last week?
It’s not that he wants a temporary budget, it’s that there are key government services that are about to run out of money. One example: food for inmates who are in prison. So Rauner is advocating for the temporary budget to make sure inmates get food and schools will get money. That gives a lawmakers more time to negotiate the rest.
What are each of the parties' positions at this point?
House Speaker Michael Madigan says this temporary budget is a new idea, so he wants his budget team to study it. Republicans say he’s made other big legislative decisions quickly, and if he wanted to, he could pass this bill just as quickly.
Madigan also points to the fact that Democrats in the House already passed a budget. While it’s been found to be $7 billion dollars out of balance, it’s a budget and sends money to agencies that need it.
Rauner has said he’d veto this measure, which would make the temporary budget the next hope for compromise. Follow @tonyjarnold on Twitter for updates on whether this is getting off the ground.
Isn’t today a deadline day? What happens if they don’t reach an agreement?
Basically, things stay the same. Lawmakers are supposed to finish up the bulk of their work before the end of the day, which marks the end of the Spring session. But if they don’t agree, they’ll have one more month to reach a deal. It’ll be a bigger challenge because it’ll need more votes to pass.
Madigan has already said lawmakers will work over the summer, making June 30 the next big deadline day. That’s the end of the fiscal year, and could be the one year anniversary of the state not having a budget.
If Illinois reaches that 1-year milestone, what changes?
The biggest change would be the potential loss in funding for K-12 education. School superintendents and principals don’t know right now what their budget for the fall will look like and if they can rely on state money. Last year, there was a budget passed for grade schools but there’s no guarantee right now that will happen this year. And if schools don’t get state money, several districts around the state will be in all sorts of trouble.
For updates throughout the day, follow WBEZ state politics reporter @tonyjarnold on Twitter.