• 07/14/2017

    As of last Thursday, July 6, Illinois finally has a full year balanced budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget had bipartisan support, includes $3.9 B in cuts, and was below Governor Rauner's introduced spending level provided in his February 15, 2017 State Budget Address. His stated budget goal was to find a balance between cuts and new revenue plus institute reforms that would put Illinois on a more sound path forward. I totally agree with that strategy and believe through compromise we met his requirements to sign a budget.

  • 07/03/2017

    With Independence Day weekend upon us, I'd like to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July. I hope that you are able to take some time this weekend to reflect upon and take pride in our nation's heritage as well as enjoy the weather, relax and spend time with your loved ones.

  • 06/17/2017

    In yesterday's ENews about the Special Session, I included limited data we had on the Republican's new Reform and Budget proposal they call the Capitol Compromise. Their press conference spoke primarily about reform bills and referenced a spending cap. We now have five recently released Senate budget bills all filed by Senator Bill Brady. However he did not file a revenue bill. The Capitol Compromise uses the existing SB 9 with some changes for their revenue bill.

  • 06/16/2017

    The General Assembly adjourned on May 31st without a budget. In May, the Senate finally passed their Grand Bargain bill package with some Republican votes on a few of the reform bills but not on the revenue or budget bills, and the House Democrats prepared a balanced budget solution but that was not yet voted upon. I am beyond disappointed to have come home without a bipartisan, balanced budget that leads Illinois to a healthier path forward. Now that May 31st has passed, any budget vote will require 71 votes to pass the House versus the 60 votes needed during our spring session, and a 3/5

  • 05/12/2017

    My ENews and #CarolsCoffees have focused on budget updates both because of its importance and ever changing nature. As the Springfield budget impasse endures, I continue to work every day towards a process that will help us reach our goal of a full year balanced budget. This week in the House, Speaker Madigan and Minority Leader Durkin have appointed members to represent their sides of the aisle in reform discussions to get us closer to a budget. The focus in the Senate remains on the Grand Bargain yet only one minor bill was called and passed solely with Democratic votes. President Culler