Senate President John Cullerton, after a day without any floor votes on the multi-piece package, announced late Wednesday afternoon that Rauner "has made a decision to interject himself in this process and doesn't want this approved in this form".
The governor has generally kept a distance from the negotiations, but during last month's budget address put forth conditions. While Democrats have a supermajority in the Senate, they are unwilling to go it alone on the various tax hikes and pension changes included in the budget package.
Rauner did just that during his February 15 budget address, saying he would only sign off on an income tax increase if it came with a permanent property tax freeze. "We encourage senators to keep working toward a good deal for taxpayers". Of course we can.
The Illinois Senate adjourned without pushing its stalled budget compromise further.
Senate Democrats on Wednesday accused Republican Gov.
But Republicans said Rauner was just trying to drive the best bargain, and insisted the package - which includes everything from an income tax increase and expanded gambling to a property tax freeze and worker's-compensation system changes - was still alive. Also, a third try at a bill strenuously objected to by unions that would save IL money by cutting state employees' and teachers' pension benefits. They balked when they learned Rauner still opposed parts of the measure.
The Senate had passed five bills out of the package of a dozen bills Tuesday afternoon, seemingly signifying that the package had been worked out, and both sides were on board. Don't take the bait.
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Cullerton said he hadn't yet talked to Rauner, but that the next move was the governor's.
The "grand bargain" may only be temporarily derailed; both Cullerton and Radogno afterward committed to continued negotiations.
"If we can not get it out of the Senate, then we are literally running down the clock and admitting that it's okay with people to not have a budget until 2018 and that is just unconscionable", said Sen.
RADOGNO: "To a person, the people that I have spoken with have been sincere, honest, willing to compromise".
Bennett said that Rauner was "moving the goal line every time we say OK". "My only hope is that it's sooner rather than later".
"Our state is suffering so badly right now and I know how many of us in this chamber, I think nearly without exception, want us to get the budget together so that we can move forward", Radogno said.
"I don't think it's dead at all", Righter said. "I think it's the governor who told them that that's what he wants".
Cullerton leads a supermajority of Democrats - enough that no GOP support is technically necessarily to pass any legislation. He says the Senate stands ready to call the package once Republicans are game to proceed.
With a level of partisan divide resembling the acrimony that has characterized Congress, Democrats in the General Assembly roundly dismissed Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2017 budget proposal as more of the same exhausted rhetoric.