Gov. Rauner Calls Legislature Into Ten Day Special Session

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Governor Bruce Rauner has called the Illinois legislature back into a 10-day Special Session timed to pass a budget before the end of the current fiscal year.  The session will run from Wednesday, June 21st through June 30th.

This comes one day after Senate and House Republicans laid out a compromise budget reform plan they said that if passed, the Governor would sign, ending the more than two year budget crisis.

“Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Governor Rauner said in a video announcing special session.  “It provides a true path to property tax reduction and it reforms the way our state operates to reduce wasteful spending.   It will fund our schools and human services, while spurring economic growth and job creation.   It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

That’s doubtful.  Democrats in the legislature have been unable to pass a budget plan of their own in part because they have resisted the Governor’s so-called ‘Turnaround Agenda’.  House Democrats also did not take a vote on a Senate budget plan as the regular session ended, some fearful of passing a state income tax increase without any Republican support.

Rockford Representative Litisa Wallace (D-Rockford) said she was also concerned about the amount of budget cuts in the Senate Plan.  “While the Senate did put forth a spending plan, too much of it unfortunately relies on unrealistic savings and harsh cuts to critically needed programs,” Wallace said in a statement.

But Gov. Rauner believes the Senate plan did not go far enough, enacting a series of tax increases including increasing the state income tax without adopting any budget reforms he seeks, including spending caps and a long-term property tax freeze.

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