SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives concluded this year’s regular scheduled session on the 700th consecutive day without the passage of a state budget. State Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields, has urged Governor Bruce Rauner back to the negotiating table to provide Illinois with a full, balanced budget. Upon adjournment, he released the following statement:
“We are at a critical fiscal juncture in the state of Illinois. Our chief executive doesn’t seem to see the real problems that we see in our communities. There are very real problems faced by service providers, school children, needy seniors and our most vulnerable community members. I see these folks every day back in my district. These important constituents couldn’t care less about non-budgetary items like term limits. They care about receiving and providing services that the state is supposed to provide.”
“The House Democrats have made more than reasonable accommodation to meet a fair amount of Governor Rauner’s budgetary demands, yet he still refuses to be upfront and honest about his budget intentions. We have passed measures that meet his demands on procurement, economic reforms, workers’ compensation, set a clear path for the sale of the James R. Thompson Center and even voted to provide property tax relief for Illinois residents. I carried the Thompson Center and procurement bills myself. Months of work and negotiations went into those packages, and I received bipartisan support. As I was making progress on both of those fronts, the Governors’ media machine went into action, downplaying our progress. I am not sure what the Governor’s budgetary plans truly are. In the art of compromise, both sides must meet in the middle, and not operate in the extreme. Frankly, he’s gotten some “wins” that he won’t seem to acknowledge.”
“Going 700 days without a full, real budget is unprecedented and dangerous. House Democrats have made good-faith efforts to move the state forward and come to a point of agreement. I certainly hope that Governor Rauner intends to take a serious look at the damage that inaction is causing in our state because we cannot continue to dig the $14.5 billion hole any deeper. We have a fair, equitable balanced budget proposal ready to go. We’ve made changes; perhaps we’ll make more. But, he’s got to negotiate. The people in our communities are counting on it.”
Riley represents the 38th District, which includes Tinley Park, Hazel Crest, and other neighboring communities. For more information, please contact Riley’s district office at 708-799-4364.