Trib reporter: budget unlikely in 2015

By Gary Scott on November 23, 2015 at 1:32pm

Getting a state budget passed might be among the resolutions being made for start of 2016.

Governor Bruce Rauner and the “Four Tops”- the House and Senate majority and minority leaders- were supposed to meet last week, but House Speaker Michael Madigan was unable to attend because of a death in the family. State leaders are now scheduled to meet to talk budget next week.

Chicago Tribune reporter Ray Long appeared on Friday’s edition of WLDS’ “AM Conversation” with Gary Scott who says it’s unlikely a state budget deal will be reached in what’s left of 2015.

Long notes Madigan is having trouble keeping his supermajority vote together.

“You need a super-majority vote, that’s a three-fifths vote, anytime after May 31st, and then the clock starts over and it goes back to 50 percent plus one in January, so Madigan couldn’t get that super-majority to hold for some of his positions. Now he gains more muscle when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, and we’ll see if they can put something together that the Democrats want in January,” says Long.

“Of course, they’re going to end up fighting a battle over vetoes, too, if Governor Rauner doesn’t like what they want, and then it’ll be back to a three-fifths vote.”

Long notes that another factor is would-be legislators collecting petitions for the March primary.

“A lot of the lawmakers are trying to figure out whether or not they’re going to have a primary, whether Rauner’s going to be putting a primary candidate against some of the Democrats, maybe a Democrat who’s more appealing to Republicans. Most likely, that won’t happen,” he says.

“But, there is a possibility that some Republicans may get primaries because they haven’t been conservative enough for Rauner.”

Illinois has been without an operating budget since the beginning of July.