Murphysboro, IL - State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) expects that the upcoming week in Springfield will contain Senate hearings on a budget framework that will combine fiscal stability with the reforms necessary to attract businesses to Illinois.
Additionally, on Wednesday, Governor Rauner will lay out his vision for Illinois in the State of the State Address.
The Illinois Senate has made significant progress toward ending the two year budget impasse. Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced an agreement that both provides Illinois with a budget and includes desperately needed measures to make Illinois competitive.
Senator Schimpf emphasized that this is the first time during the two-year impasse that leaders from the opposing parties have agreed to tie reforms and a budget plan together.
The budget framework under discussion would provide spending authority for the remainder of the 2017 year. Additionally, it would also tie a property tax freeze to measures that provide mandate relief to school districts and reforms to lower the cost of government by reducing the number of government entities in Illinois. It also includes measures to streamline and improve the state's procurement process by eliminating barriers to vendor competition and participation. Finally, it contains reforms designed to improve the Illinois workers' compensation system, while retaining the basic set of protections that have benefited our workers for over 100 years.
The final details of the agreement have not been reached and Senator Schimpf looks forward to the Senate hearings in the upcoming week that will flesh out the proposal. "After two years of an impasse, I am finally glad that we are making the first moves toward compromise. Two additional years without a budget would be catastrophic for our state and region," Schimpf stated.
An emergency budget agreement that funded state government through late summer and fall expired on January 1st. The expiration left public universities, mental health providers, addiction treatment centers, cancer screening centers, and many other vital programs without state funding. Southern Illinois University is the largest employer in the 58th Senate District. Many vendors no longer do business with the state of Illinois because of a six month backlog of unpaid bills.
Senator Schimpf also looks forward to the Governor's State of the State address on Wednesday. "I expect the Governor to continue his calls for compromise, coupled with reforms. I am eager to see how he will react to the compromise proposed by the Senate leadership," Schimpf stated. Up to this point, the Governor has not publicly commented on the Senate Leaders' proposal to end the budget impasse.