Though tens of thousands of people rallied behind the Chicago Blackhawks after their Stanley Cup championship win on June 15, Illinois’ 13 million citizens are probably not going to be throwing a championship-style parade for the two majority legislative leaders any time soon. The state’s fiscal year comes to an end in less than two weeks and lawmakers and the Governor are not any closer to a final solution to the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.
The impasse enters its third week and the Democrat majority leaders have yet to send most of their budget package to the Governor’s desk despite passing it nearly a month ago. However, Governor Bruce Rauner has indicated he will not sign the Democrat lawmakers’ budget, which even House Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton acknowledge is more than $3 billion unbalanced.
Senate Republican lawmakers, like their House counterparts, have continued a steady drumbeat in their quest for meaningful government reforms to help Illinois move beyond the past 12-plus years of one-party dysfunction. They have joined the Governor in consistently expressing a willingness to work together with their Democrat counterparts on the state’s budget, beginning with compromise on job-creating, economy-boosting reforms.