Rauner Calls Lawmakers Back to Springfield to Work Until Budget is Passed

Rauner issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting Wednesday, June 21 at noon.

Gov. Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield Thursday for a special session.

The special session will begin on June 21. In a Facebook video, Rauner said this session will be continuous until a budget is passed.

In a video announcing the special session, Rauner said:

“We have tough, urgent choices to make, and the legislature must be present to make them. In the days ahead, let’s show the people of Illinois we have their best interests in mind, not our own. And together, we will move our state forward to a better and brighter future.”

Rauner issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting Wednesday, June 21 at noon.

The proclamations direct the General Assembly to consider legislation that will reach a balanced budget with changes to our broken system, including property tax relief, job creation, term limits and spending caps.

Should the General Assembly enact the compromise balanced budget plan prior to June 30th, the Governor will cancel any remaining special session days.

This is the first special session the governor has called during his time in office.

During his Facebook statement, the governor gave support for the Republican budget plan introduced Wednesday.

“Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign. It provides a true path to property tax reduction and it reforms the way our state operates to reduce wasteful spending. It will fund our schools and human services, while spurring economic growth and job creation. It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said in a statement Thursday:

"With the fiscal year coming to a close and the House Democrats failure to produce a budget during session warrants the Governor's action today. We can break this impasse if the House Democrats are willing to negotiate in good faith."

Senate Minority Leader Chris Radogno, R- Lemont, said in a statement Thursday:

"I am anxious to return to the Capitol to continue our work on a comprehensive budget solution. We have a very real deadline looming as we close yet another fiscal year without a budget in place. I hopeful we will have productive sessions, legislative leader meetings with true engagement from all four leaders, and bipartisan efforts toward compromise. I and my Caucus believe a comprehensive solution is within reach and we ought to do everything possible to achieve it before July 1. The alternative to not finding compromise will be devastating to Illinois."

Statement from John Patterson, spokesman for Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton:

"I will remind everyone that the Illinois Senate has been in session the last six months and produced a balanced budget plan that was approved and sent to the Illinois House. I’m not sure where Governor Rauner was during the first half of the year, but the Senate did his work and balanced his spending plan using the numbers and tax rate he wanted. Now that he’s decided to engage, it would be helpful if he could use his influence to marshal the House Republicans to join the bipartisan coalition and support his tax increase and spending plan and get a balanced budget approved in the House. Until then, the Senate has already done the work and is waiting for the governor to finish the job. "

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement, Thursday:

“We have stated unequivocally that a resolution to the governor’s budget crisis—which has resulted in eight credit downgrades and tripled the state’s debt—must be our top priority. Wherever we can compromise with the governor without hurting middle-class families, Democrats have worked to find common ground so we can get the governor to work with us and pass a balanced budget, but he has refused to do so. Per the governor’s request, House Democrats have voted to cut property taxes, reform workers’ compensation, make changes that will improve the business climate and level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses, reform the state procurement code and sell the Thompson Center. With each attempt to meet Governor Rauner half way, we urged him to return to the table to negotiate a state budget. The governor refused.
“Since the adjournment of the spring session, Democrats have continued our work on the budget. At a budget hearing this month, legislators listened to mothers of children with developmental disabilities, including one woman whose son had to be institutionalized because the governor’s crisis has blocked access to in-home care. A survivor of sexual assault called on the governor to come back to the table and end the crisis. Those who spoke were in agreement: People’s lives are on the line, and it’s time to act. The governor responded by calling them ‘props’ and dismissing the entire hearing as a ‘sham.’ Casting aside those most directly affected by Governor Rauner’s budget crisis is no way to move forward.
“House Democrats will continue our work on the budget from Springfield, but as Governor Rauner has met each of our attempts to date with refusal, it’s clear that the onus is on the governor to show that he is finally serious about working in good faith to end the crisis he has manufactured.”

Democratic Governors Association Communications Director Sam Salustro said in a statement Thursday:

“Bruce Rauner’s decision to hold a fundraiser before calling a special session shows voters exactly what his priorities are. The fact is that Bruce Rauner is more interested in playing politics than getting a real deal done for the people of Illinois. Holding fundraisers and campaign-style events, and running attack ads, is exactly the theatrical politics that landed his as ‘most vulnerable incumbent in the nation.’”

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) issued the following statement in response to Governor Bruce Rauner convening the General Assembly for a special session regarding the state budget:

"I commend the Governor for doing what has not been done so far in June: bringing the Legislature back to Springfield to hammer out a balanced budget compromise. Since the Speaker adjourned the House over two weeks ago, our State Capitol Building has sat silent in the midst of this unprecedented budget impasse.
"What we have seen this week is that the Republicans are taking the lead to end this ridiculous situation. The balanced budget plan introduced by House and Senate Republicans takes the elements of the ‘grand bargain’ negotiated between Senators and attempts to move them forward in a bipartisan fashion.
"I urge my Democrat colleagues to take this proposal seriously and work with us to move it forward. The legislation in this proposal has been largely negotiated between the two parties in the Senate and the Governor's office has stated they will sign this plan. This is the path forward to resolve the budget impasse."

Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, offered the following comments after Rauner called for legislators to return to Springfield for a special session:

“It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation, but I applaud Governor Rauner for doing what was necessary and calling the General Assembly back to Springfield,” said Brady noting, “This week I introduced a real, full year balanced state budget that isn’t another lifeline, stop gap, or band-aid budget. My budget and the compromise reform measures my colleagues have put forth this week are the real solutions that the people of this state deserve. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to work to get this done.”

Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, issued the following statement in response to Rauner calling for a Special Session:

“This is the right thing to do. It’s the job of the legislature to pass a balanced budget. Constitutionally, the legislature is the only entity that that can pass a balanced budget.
“I look forward to returning to Springfield and continuing to negotiate in good faith with the Democrat majority to pass a true bi-partisan and balanced budget – one that includes the necessary reforms that will move Illinois forward economically and fiscally.”

Democratic candidate for governor Daniel Biss released the following statement in response to Rauner's calling of a special legislative session:

"As Bruce Rauner and Mike Madigan have proven over the last two years, simply being in Springfield isn't enough. The Senate worked hard to pass a balanced budget earlier this year, while Rauner, Madigan, and the Republicans refused to do theirs. And the current Republican "compromise" isn't a compromise at all - it's simply political cover to screw over Chicago school kids.

Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, issued the following statement in response to the budget compromise plan unveiled June 14 and Rauner calling for a Special Session:

“Yesterday, a package of legislation was filed that includes cuts, reforms, starts to pay off our billion plus-dollar backlog of bills, actually balances the state budget, and fundamentally reforms our inequitable K-12 system – and is great for downstate schools because it combines the best parts of the two competing funding reform proposals into a single reform. It is also a package that Governor Rauner says he will sign into law. The package contains many compromises made by the Governor, Senate and House Republicans, and the Senate Democrats.
“Clearly, sitting at home is doing nobody any good as our state hurtles towards junk bond status on July 1st. Senate Republicans have compromised. House Republicans have compromised. The Senate Democrats have compromised. Governor Rauner has compromised. All eyes are now on House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago). Will he engage before the end of June? Or will he, and his Democrat majority, push us to into junk bond status and, in the process, destroy the taxpayers of Illinois and what is left of higher education, K-12, social services, and anything else that our once proud state cares about? I completely support the decision to go back to Springfield and when we do the House Democrats need to step up to the plate – everyone else has!”
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