The Players: A Budget Director, With No Budget To Direct
What's it like to be in charge of the state budget ... when there is no state budget? That's the topic for this edition of The Players: your look into who's who in Illinois politics and what they're up to.
On Monday (the 125th day of Illinois having no budget), the City Club of Chicago organized a panel discussion called "Madness on the Prairie: Illinois State Budget Process Gone Wild" (this link will take you to a video of the entire event). It featured a pair of journalists (Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky as well as Politico's Natasha Korecki), a Democratic state legislator, and Tim Nuding.
If you're not a government insider, you may not recognize the Nuding name. But you know his boss: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner; Nuding is the governor's budget director.
A quick bit of background on Nuding: He's been dealing with the Illinois budget since 1991. Back then, he was a newbie appropriations analyst for the Senate Republicans. Then, too, Illinois politicians couldn't reach a budget deal by deadline; they figured it out by mid-summer.
That pales in comparison to now: Illinois' in its fifth month without a deal, and counting.
Here's what Nuding have to say about it? Here's some of what he had to say at the City Club, followed by a bit of rebuttal from Democratic Rep. John Bradley of Marion.