Budget talks suspended
The six-month stopgap budget that was passed at the end of June will expire on December 31, leaving no budget in place to authorize much of the state’s spending during the second half of the fiscal year. Therefore, many aspects of state spending are hanging in limbo right now awaiting some kind of budget agreement to continue state funding. The stopgap budget was intended to be a bridge to cover the first half of the new fiscal year while the negotiations for a full year budget continued. However, budget talks amongst the Governor and legislative leaders have been suspended. Governor Rauner stated last week that based on his conversations with leading Democrats, negotiations are not being productive at this time.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Ellee Pai Hong of Comcast Newsmakers during the first week of veto session back in November to discuss events in the General Assembly. The video is posted below.
Another week with no budget agreement
As the stopgap six-month budget for the first half of this fiscal year approaches its scheduled expiration on December 31, pressure is growing for top Illinois officials to develop a budget agreement. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Governor Rauner, and the other legislative leaders were meeting almost daily in Chicago. Some of the main issues under discussion include cash flow for state spending areas covered in the stopgap budget. If these areas are to get funding in January 2017 and following months, they will need a renewed appropriation. However, as of this writing, no agreement has been reached.
Still no budget deal, Governor calls for term limits, property tax freeze
Legislative leaders and the Governor met early in the week to discuss the state budget and other legislative items, but no agreement was reached. Large parts of the Illinois state budget are scheduled to expire with the sunset of the so-called "stopgap” budget that we passed back in June and which is in effect until December 31. Additional action will be necessary to keep funds flowing to those agencies after the end of the year. Unfortunately, the meetings between Governor Rauner and the four legislative leaders, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, have not produced the level of agreement necessary for a budget bill to start moving.

Fall veto session concludes
The House and Senate adjourned Thursday without passing a budget. The stopgap budget passed back in June will expire on January 1, and the House stands adjourned. This is unacceptable. We have an opportunity for real reform and a balanced budget if people on all sides would just come together and put the best interests of Illinois first.