Illinois Lawmakers Headed To Springfield as Buget Deadline Approaches

WTVO/WQRF - With the deadline for the 2017 budget just days away, Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield on Wednesday after nearly a month away.

Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) suggests that House Speaker Michael Madigan's education spending plan would unfairly force state taxpayers to bail out the Chicago Public School System. 

Rauner has been making that argument for several months and even toured the state in June to hammer it home.

Democrats say their plan is not a Chicago bailout, but an extra shot in the arm for schools that need it.  Right now, the Governor's education plan would increase the funding model by more than $240 million.  Democrats want to increase the education budget by more than $750 million.  A major chunk of that will go to so-called equity grants to help schools in property tax poor areas.

Lawmakers are optimistic a deal will be reached before the deadline.  Both sides say there has been progress in the past month.  But, neither side is ready to say there's an agreement.  Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton say they canceled session dates this month allow smaller working groups time to come to a deal.

There already have been a number of casualties due to the budget stalemate.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has already announced it'll shut down its 800 construction projects in July if there isn't some sort of agreement.  Schools could open late, lottery winners will have to wait for their winnings, and many human services already spread thin could close for good.


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