Illinois governor calls special session to force budget deal

Cars are covered in snow in a general parking lot during the snowstorm at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago Illinois U.S

Cars are covered in snow during a snowstorm in Chicago. Thomson Reuters

IL hasn't had a budget since 2015 when Rauner took office.

With Illinois heading toward a third straight year without a budget, Illinois Republicans presented a familiar "compromise" spending and reform plan Wednesday they argued could end the gridlock.

While the governor said it will last until a budget is passed, Schimpf said lawmakers are looking to pass a budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30th.

"It is a true compromise", Rauner said of the budget plan.

Madigan's statement said only that "it's clear that the onus is on the governor to show that he is finally serious about working in good faith to end the crisis he has manufactured".

During the impasse, the state's backlog of unpaid bills has topped $14 billion and there've been major blows to higher education and social services with cutbacks. The proclamations direct the General Assembly to consider legislation that will reach a balanced budget with changes to what the governor describes as a "broken system", including property tax relief, job creation, term limits and spending caps.

Democrats no longer have a supermajority in the House.

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"Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign", Rauner said in the video.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield Thursday for a special session next week.

It incorporated some items already agreed to by Senate Democrats and included other issues, including a four-year income tax increase and a four-year property tax freeze, that Republicans believe Democrats might agree to. Senate President John Cullerton's spokesman John Patterson argued that senators put together their budget based on Rauner's requirements and it remained a viable option.

"I absolutely support the governor's decision to call this and I'm happy that he did", said Schimpf.

Described by House and Senate Republicans as "The Capitol Compromise", the lawmakers said approval of a seven-part legislative package is what it would take to break the stalemate. What I wonder is why Governor Rauner seems to be in such a hurry now.

Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, said he was "relieved" the Legislature would return to Springfield. "It won't be easy but we have an opportunity to do the right think for IL". Sitting down face-to-face, hammering out details not press releases, making compromises, not tv ads is the leadership we need.

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