If you’re hoping for a state budget, you may have to keep waiting. The Senate was the only chamber in the Capitol, but lawmakers didn’t take any big votes.
They voted on four bills and made a few appointments to committees, but nothing was done to fix the budget impasse.
“We need a budget passed.”
Tashika Hatchett is concerned with the state’s lack of a budget.
“A lot of them have been working on reserves. They haven’t gotten a payment since June 30th of last year.”
Hatchett is a home-care provider. She says she came to the Capitol to see if there was any hope of a budget bill.
“Which would cut home-care services offered for 34,000 people in the state of Illinois, so I’m here to let them know that this is not acceptable.”
Unfortunately for Hatchett and others, little-to-nothing was done on the first real day of the session.
“People send lawmakers to Springfield to reach an agreement despite political differences and that’s clearly not happening.”
Lawmakers came back with no new bills or votes on MAP Grants, funding for childcare or the homeless.
“It doesn’t seem to be a lot of movement to coming up with an agreement at this point, so, if I had to speculate, I think it’s going to be a bit longer before any type of budget agreement is in place.”
Both parties in the General Assembly agree the start of the new year is off to a slow start.
“Are we addressing the state’s most important priorities here today? We’re not. We’re talking about putting term limits on the ballot.”
But, the question legislators can’t answer is if a budget deal will get done at all this year.
“It is a possibility. What can avoid us from getting to that point is sitting down with one another.”
Hatchett says it is time for lawmakers to move on and get rid of old problems.
“We need to get a budget for last year. You can’t bypass it because, what are you going to do with the bills from last year?”
But, she isn’t giving up on lawmakers just yet.
“The governor and the General Assembly working together or nothing’s going to be done.”
The Senate was scheduled for Thursday, but it was canceled. Both chambers are scheduled to return in two weeks for the State of the State address.