(KWQC) – There’s unfinished business in Springfield as Illinois lawmakers head back for the second round of a veto session Tuesday. A budget still needs to be passed. The stopgap budget that lawmakers approved over the summer to keep the government running for six months ends on December 31st. But along with the budget, there are several big issues on the docket for lawmakers to consider.
With yet another budget deadline approaching Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s “hopeful.” His plan is to meet with state leaders daily for the next couple of weeks.
“Until we hammer out a truly balanced budget with reforms, term limits, more job reforms, lower property taxes, and better schools. We need to properly fund our schools,” said Rauner on Monday morning.
The series of reforms from the republican governor’s turnaround agenda is still getting friction from democrats.
“There’s a framework of how we’ve come together on agreements on spending. We ought to follow that framework and that putting together a budget is really the state’s number one problem,” said Steve Brown, Spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan. “I don’t think that group has gotten down to how many dollars should be spend on schools, colleges, or prisons, that kind of thing. That’s really the task ahead.”
When this year is over the temporary spending plan expires. While some are optimistic for a solution, others aren’t holding their breath.
“I think the issue we’re having is the governor and the speaker are unwilling to compromise on anything, and I think the devastation that’s being caused in the state is lost on them,” said State Representative Mike Smiddy, (D) Illinois.
Workers compensation is another issue being taken up, with testimony heard during a committee hearing on Monday evening. Then there’s automatic voter registration as well as energy legislation dubbed a nuclear bail-out bill. There’s a lot on the table and a lot on the line. Rauner says when it comes to the budget, another temporary fix just won’t do.
“I would be strongly against that because that would be a failure on the part of all of us,” said Rauner.