Smoke & Mirrors Budget Debate

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State Capitol – Only a week before millions of dollars in cuts could be implemented if a budget deal is not reached by July 1st lawmakers are going through the motions without passing legislation that Governor Rauner will ever sign into law.

“We are simply wasting time when we ought to be moving real bills,” said Rep. Ron Sandack, (R) Downers Grove, on the floor of the Illinois House.  “Actually, we shouldn't be doing anything other than working on a budget.”

State Senator Andy Manar, (D) Bunker Hill, says as many as 100 schools may not be able to open if a state aid payment is missed due to the budget crisis in August.

Illinois House Democrats put another property-tax freeze to a vote -- this one including contentious side issues demanded by Gov. Bruce Rauner -- but it was defeated like previous versions.

The Republican governor's proposals to reduce local government costs showed up in a Democratic amendment Tuesday. It failed to get a single "yes" vote.

Rauner wants to freeze the amount of money local governments may collect in property taxes. But he insists on giving cities further cost-control power -- such as refusing to negotiate certain economic issues with unions and sidestepping prevailing wage rates.

Rauner won't talk about the Democrats' budget plan until he gets approval for these and other business-climate changes. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago calls them extreme.

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