Lawmakers Continue to Battle Over State Budget


Springfield - When governor Bruce Rauner was sworn into office last January, he promised to shake up Illinois.

At the same time, speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, promised to work with the governor on fixing Illinois' financial struggles.

Nearly twelve months later, both sides remain at odds over the state's budget.

"Layered on top of the budget deficit problem, would be the structural deficits which have been carried forward from prior budgets, the unfunded liabilities in the pension systems, the aggregate debt load of the state," said Madigan.

However, it's those same problems the speaker listed that falls under the speaker and other Democrat's responsibilities says House Republican, and minority leader, Jim Durkin.

"We've the largest unfunded pension mandate in America, and yet, it was the Democrats who voted to skip the pension payments in 2005 and 2006.  This did not protect the middle class.  And medicaid spending doubled in the last 13 years," said Durkin.

Instead of playing the blame game, some lawmakers are urging the governor and top four lawmakers to continue to meet before the state's situation worsens.

"The one optimistic thing I can say is that I think they agreed to meet regularly which hasn't happened in the past.  But we won't get a budget until January, and that's the very frustrating thing.  Illinois is hurting," said Forsyth state representative Bill Mitchell.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol on January 13th.

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