Illinois Budget ‘Grand Bargain’ Falls Through at Last Minute

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Democratic and Republican Senate leaders are pointing fingers at each other after the final vote on the grand bargaining deal fell through. As of Wednesday morning, most senators say they were on board end to this budget impasse.

That all changed once Governor Bruce Rauner decided to weigh in. Democrats accuse the governor of sabotaging the compromise.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been informed that the governor decided to interject himself in this process and doesn’t want this approved in this form,” said Senate President John Cullerton.

Republican leader Christine Radogno did not deny President Cullerton’s accusations. She remains confident the deal is still on the table.

“My only hope is that, sooner rather than later, because, as you all know, we are looking at going into the hole $11 million a day, every single day we don’t get this solved.”

Democrats say they showed up to vote but blame Rauner’s interference. They say some senators were threatened.

“We’ve heard firsthand from Republican colleagues the governor was calling people and chastising them for their votes yesterday and threatening them on future votes,” said Senator Don Harmon.

Republicans argue the Senate’s deal still had several key components unfinished.

“The package was not complete and that we need more time to digest and find what we need,” said Senator William Brady.

Regardless of the lack of votes, senate members say the deal is not being thrown out the window.

“That offer, as my understanding, is still on the table but, with each passing minute, it’s more difficult for us to maintain our majorities.”

“I have no question in my mind that we’re going to bring this thing in for a landing.”

President Cullerton did say they will be filling amendments of their bipartisan plans and say once Republicans have full support, they will call it for a vote.

A spokesperson from Governor Rauner’s office did comment on accusations of him meeting privately with senators.

“The Rauner Adminstration says it’s normal that the governor meets with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. These accusations are outrageous.”

The Senate has adjourned, so no deal will be passed this week.

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