DECATUR– A state mandate has forced payments to public sector employees to continue, and a bi-partisan temporary spending plan got municipalities the money they are owed, but where does the state find itself when it comes to the larger budget picture?
“I think the compromise made last week was a good start,” Republican State Senator Chapin Rose says. “These two items (road salt and 911 call center funding) weren’t the biggest issues, but what I think you saw was the rank and file in Springfield coming together and acting like adults.”
As we round out 2016 without a state budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1st, Rose says Democrats should be careful in calling the year a ‘win’, “The House Democrats think all is well because none of their stuff has collapsed because it’s on a federal court order, AFSCME is getting paid, Medicaid is getting paid, but the burn rate of cash is $6 billion more than what we are going to have this year, so somewhere around April that money will run out and the court order isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on without money.”
Governor Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders in both chambers have met two times in as many weeks as they continue to negotiate the budget stalemate.
After the 1st of the new year, the passage of legislation will simply require a majority vote, not a super majority, which, Rose says, is why he thinks a budget will get passed after January 1st.