56.6 F
Friday, June 9, 2023
HomeIllinois NewsSpeaker Madigan's explanation as to why Illinois' budget remains stalled

Speaker Madigan’s explanation as to why Illinois’ budget remains stalled




SPRINGFIELD – On the House floor Tuesday, House Speaker Mike Madigan made clear in a ten minute prepared remark speech why the Illinois budget for FY 2016 remains stalled, and there's little hope of making progress on the FY 2017 state budget.

Speaker Madigan pointed to several key reasons for no progress, including:

  • Governor Rauner's refusal to compromise
  • Governor Rauner's personal agenda
  • Governor Rauner's mission to hurt middle class families
  • Governor Rauner's veto power 

Rather than take the word of opinionated commentators and pundits, Illinois Review transcribed Speaker Madigan's speech for our readers to assess for themselves: 

Almost one year ago, after Governor Rauner submitted his 2016 FY budget that was billions of dollars out of balance, House and Senate Democrats passed spending plans for the current fiscal year.

These plans laid out Democrat priorities, including more money for elementary and high schools, and preventing the dangerous cuts the Governor had proposed in his budget; cuts such as zeroing out funding for services for children with autism, cutting funding for breast cancer screenings for nearly 15,000 women, cutting funding for child abuse prevention and cutting services for victims of sexual assault.

With the exception of the budget for elementary and secondary education, a budget that House and Senate Republicans voted against, the Governor vetoed the spending plans, rejecting funding for the state’s most vital programs, serving countless families across the state – including funding for sexual assault victims, medical care for the elderly, breast cancer screenings, homelessness prevention and mental health services.

The Governor chose to veto this critical funding, even though the state constitution provides that he may reduce or veto any item in an appropriations bill. We know the Governor understands this provision, because he used his line item veto power to remove specific items from a capital bill, while allowing other parts of the bill to become law.

It is regrettable that the Governor did not extend the same consideration to vital state programs that help sexual assault victims, the elderly and potential cancer victims. Since the Governor’s vetoes, numerous bills and amendments have been brought to the floor of this chamber as renewed statements of priorities of House Democrats. With few exceptions, the Governor and his people in this chamber have rejected those spending plans.

Even in the case of 9-1-1 services, motor fuel tax for municipalities and appropriations from federal funds, it took a great deal of time and effort to convince the Governor to move off his personal agenda. The Governor’s objections to House Democratic priorities are based on his insistence that the General Assembly first pass his personal agenda, which is targeted at diminishing the wages and standard of living of the middle class and other struggling families.

It’s true that we need to do more to promote good-paying jobs with good wages in Illinois to improve our economic condition. But progress will not be made by targeting the wages and the standard of living of the middle class and others that are already struggling.

So we have had and will continue to have our differences. But differences with governors is not new to me, nor is it something that has prevented me from working with governors of both political parties for the good of the people of Illinois in passing state budgets.

Over 30 years, I have worked with six governors from both political parties – twice as many Republicans as Democrats. We didn’t always agree on the issues. We didn’t always agree on the best approach to passing the state government. I had differences of opinion with all the governors I’ve worked with, including governors of my own party.

And let me repeat that – including governors of my own party. Many of you will recall the very strong differences I had with former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

However, we found a way to compromise. My record over the years is one of compromise. Regardless of the governor or his political party, to pass a budget that does not withhold the services that the people of Illinois depend upon. It is my openness to compromise that I stated more than a year ago, and why I continue to believe that to solve the state budget deficit, we must take a balanced approach.

The spending plans approved by the state legislature almost a year ago took that approach – cutting hundreds of millions of dollars without decimating the vital services that Illinois residents, children and the elderly depend upon. Like the governor’s own budget, ours, was not fully in balance. But we publicly acknowledged that and we have been prepared to address that.

Over the last 13 months, compromise has been very difficult to achieve. Never before has the state gone this long without a budget. Every other governor that I have worked with has negotiated with the General Assembly in good faith to help the people of Illinois and to insure that the people of our state would not needlessly suffer.

The fact is the current budget crisis was completely avoidable. While this crisis was avoidable, Governor Rauner has refused to put an end to the crisis. Some of his remarks in recent years clearly indicate this has been his plan from the very beginning.

At the Tazewell County’s Lincoln Day Dinner in March 2013, Governor Rauner said, and I quote, “Even if the Democrats got a major majority against us, you know what? They can’t stop us. They won’t stop me if I want to dramatically spend less. You need the legislature if you want to spend more. If you want to spend less, they can’t stop me. And I apologize, we may have to go through rough times. If we have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers, if we sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while …” – like university and social service providers – “that’s what we’re going to do.”

My view of the important role of state government, which I have argued, stands in stark contrast with Governor Rauner’s view of the role of state government as shown through his comments, has not changed since I first took office.

State government has a vital role to play from working to provide needed services for those who need them the most. You will even find that the few times Governor Rauner has set aside his personal agenda that hurts middle class families, we have been able to compromise to move our state forward.

That is why I will continue to make my top priority a budget that takes the balanced approach to prevent the most critical state services from being decimated by personal political agendas.

I support the passage of SB 2046, with critical funding for needed services that would be provided to the people of the state of Illinois. Thank you , Mr. Speaker, I recommend an “aye” vote.

After the Speaker's speech, the Illinois House voted along party lines to pass the bill 65 to 42, with three members – Republican Terri Bryant as well as Democrat Jack Franks and Mike Smiddy – voting present (effectively "no" votes).

In order to sustain another veto, Speaker Madigan will need 71 votes. Six members – two Republicans and four Democrats – were excused for the day.

The bill makes appropriations to the Department of Public Health, the American Lung Association, the Department on Aging, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Court of Claims, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Lottery.


- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories


  1. Over 30 years, I have worked with six governors from both political parties – twice as many Republicans as Democrats. We didn’t always agree on the issues. We didn’t always agree on the best approach to passing the state government. I had differences of opinion with all the governors I’ve worked with, including governors of my own party.
    Hey dirtbag Madigan did the state have three credit downgrades, an enormous state debt of at least $150 billion, and a huge budget deficit in direct violation of the state constitution. What about your unlawful funding of criminal illegal aliens, to the tune of $2.5 – $3 billion dollars a year.
    You jackasses force the middle class to support those who have no right to be here while they are struggling to support their own families. In many families, both the husband and wife work because they HAVE to because of your excessive and unlawful spending. When have you ever compromised Madigan? How many people and businesses have you driven from the state because of your corruption? Now, tell us again how great you are Madigan, your asinine comments only serve to stultify you!
    Thank God for Rauner, at least there is one adult in the room!

  2. How about no paychecks for any IL congressmen and senators until a BALANCED budget is passed. I bet we can find a way to get a budget passed pronto!
    We definitely need term limits on these corrupt officials of Illinois.
    Illinois voters are absolutely fed up with all the deals made behind closed doors and the blatent lies being told to Illinois voters. Get a life.