As the clock ticks on Illinois to produce a balanced state budget, House Speaker Michael Madigan is finally expressing the issues he needs to see in order to agree on a budget.
Local State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, a House Republican, shares his thoughts on Madigan’s latest requests.
“It’s past the eleventh hour to get a budget. For Madigan to come and throw random things on the table…the other issues are things that we’ve been talking about for two-and-a-half years. The Democrats really haven’t tried to negotiate on that, and the House Democrats are the only ones who haven’t filed a budget. Senate Democrats have actually passed a budget. The only one now that’s still out there is the Speaker of the House,” says Davidsmeyer.
Madigan is asking for Governor Rauner to sign a school funding reform plan that Rauner has already said he plans to veto. Madigan also wants legislation passed that would regulate workers’ compensation insurance rates, and to look at procurement regulations for Medicaid managed care services. House Minority leader Jim Durkin has said that there won’t be any more meetings with leadership until House Democrats produce a budget plan of their own.
Davidsmeyer says that budget plan could be coming rather soon.
“I feel a little bit better, last week and then coming into this week, there’s a little more discussion, and from my understanding, they may even have a budget as early as today. So I remain hopeful, but I’m not holding my breath until we see what actually comes out,” Davidsmeyer explains.
Davidsmeyer says that the House Democrats’ budget plan is likely to resemble the last two budgets that were passed, but he also says that the budget needs to be “real.”
“I think it definitely is a bright spot. The other two full budgets that we saw in the past two-and-a-half years were $38 and $40 billion, my understanding is that this budget will probably be closer to $37 billion. But my concern is seeing how they get to that $37 billion. If it’s just shifting dollars around and accounting schemes, it’s not going to work,” says Davidsmeyer.
The local Representative also says he’s hoping to have compromise on both sides once House Democrats do produce a budget plan.
The Illinois General Assembly has until the end of the week to pass a state budget.