The Illinois General Assembly has approved a budget for the state — and Governor Bruce Rauner is indicating he’ll “enact” it into law.
In any other state, passing a budget is routine. But in Illinois, it’s become something remarkable.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for quite some time,” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin told his colleagues. “I never expected it, particularly in this environment that we’ve been in over the last three years."
He was talking about the negotiations between Democrats and Republicans that led to a budget deal.
The final spending plan doesn’t raise taxes, which was one of Rauner’s requirements.
But it also doesn’t cut taxes, which has been a key talking point of Rauner’s reelection campaign.
Nevertheless, Rauner issued a statement promising “swift action to enact” the budget. Presumably that would give Illinois a full budget when the new fiscal year beings in July — the first time that’s happened in half a decade.
As for Durkin, he says he thinks the success of the budget negotiations can serve as a model for every problem brought before the General Assembly.
“Folks, our constituents are starving for that type of attitude and cooperation,” Durkin says. “Don’t lose it after today.”