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Illinois budget talks stall, countdown to cuts begin

Illinois budget negotiations have temporarily stalled. Lawmakers, who have until July 1, 2015 to pass a balanced budget, don’t appear to be any closer to ...
Springfield

Illinois budget negotiations have temporarily stalled.

Lawmakers, who have until July 1, 2015 to pass a balanced budget, don’t appear to be any closer to agreeing on a budget. If republicans and democrats don’t agree on a budget before July 1, projects and funding across the state would be slashed.

The state would be forced to axe Medicaid funding to many of the state’s hospitals. In addition, schools would likely not receive funding that was expected, forcing some schools to start late.

Projects from the Illinois Department of Transportation would not be affected; however, the John Deere Road project would stalled because the project is paid through bond initiatives. Also, state workers would still get paid, but payments would likely be delayed.

On Tuesday, June 16, Governor Bruce Rauner unleashed a T.V. ad that scolded House Speaker Michael Madigan and other democrats.

“Mike Madigan and the politicians he controls refuse to change. They’re saying ‘no’ to spending discipline, ‘no’ to job-creating economic reforms, ‘no’ to term limits. All they want is higher taxes, again,” the ad’s narrator says.

State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D) told News 8 the political ad “tears the two sides further apart.” Smiddy added the governor won’t negotiate with democrats on a budget until they come to terms with his turnaround agenda and the five items that he says he “must have.”

Democrats have advocated for increasing property taxes to help fund the $36.3 billion proposed budget, while Rauner has offered his own $31.5 billion spending plan.

Republican State Senator Neil Anderson said the two sides are currently at a stalemate, adding the that lawmakers need to “prioritize” the state’s spending.

“We have to prioritize our spending in state government. We can’t simply spend money we don’t have,” Anderson said.

Negotiations are expected to continue on June 30, the final day until the clock strikes midnight in Springfield.