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Past Due: Budget Deal "A Monumental Task"

WUIS/Illinois Issues

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not consider new revenues for next fiscal year until the legislature approves some of his agenda.

Items on Rauner's wish list include: right-to-work zones throughout the state, changes to the workers' compensation system, term limits for lawmakers and cuts to public employees' future pension benefits, to name a few. Groups of lawmakers and the governor's staff have been negotiating his agenda and the budget in closed meetings, but so far, those talks have yet to produce any legislation.

Rauner has warned lawmakers that if they don't approve some of his plan by the end of the regular session, which is scheduled to end May 31, they should be prepared for session to drag on into overtime. He also said recently that he has backed off of some of the components of his plan, but he has not stated publicly which ones. 

The governor's agenda aside, passing a budget will be no easy task. The estimated shortfall for next fiscal year is $6 billion and finding a bipartisan plan to fill that gap will be a huge challenge. I sat down with retired UIS political science professor Kent Redfield to talk about the situation 

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