We had hoped that this time it would be different, but no. Illinois lawmakers seem ready to wrap up their spring legislative session and once again kick the budget can down the road.
No solutions? No problem.
Guess no one really should be surprised that Democratic leaders Michael Madigan and John Cullerton are choosing not to work with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The new governor wants to reform the way Illinois does business but the two grizzled veteran leaders have no desire to change. Illinois may be dysfunctional, but it’s a system that works just fine for them and political insiders. It’s so incestuous.
And so instead of the balanced budget they were elected to produce, they are pushing a budget that will be almost $4 billion in the red on Day 1.
It’s so blatant it’s breathtaking, and Republican lawmakers alone can’t stop them. They would need help from rank-and-file Democrats who are also fed up with refusing to address the state’s fiscal problems.
What will our local Democratic lawmakers do? Will they continue to be part of the Madigan-Cullerton problem, or will they stand up for the people of Illinois? Some Democratic lawmakers from Northern Illinois have already said they will not vote for this joke of the budget. Let’s hope that on the day of the vote, metro-east lawmakers refuse to approve this out-of-balance budget – but don’t hold your breath.