The Senate has made progress on an agreement on a balanced budget and structural, state government reforms, filing a budget package on January 9 that represents a significant step toward ending the ongoing budget impasse.
The budget package includes reforms covering areas from workers compensation to pension reform and term limits for legislative leaders, while matching revenues and expenditures in a balanced budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Significantly, it is the first time that revenues, reforms and the budget have been linked, demonstrating the importance of joining these factors in order to bring an end to the stalemate and get Illinois on a path to fiscal solvency, fiscal stability and economic recovery.
Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno stressed that lawmakers need to act expeditiously on the long-term budget proposal to end the impasse, saying that the state is suffering. She also emphasized the need for give-and-take, noting lawmakers have to compromise and vote on what’s good for the taxpayers and the state as a whole.
Due to time restraints before the end of the current General Assembly, Senate legislative leaders acknowledged the current legislation as filed can’t be passed into law. However, leaders from both parties promised to re-file the bills on January 11, the first day of the new General Assembly.
Negotiations on the package will remain ongoing, and Senate committees could meet as early as January 24. However, filing the bills early allows lawmakers, as well as the public to vet the proposals.