110 days with no Illinois budget, lawmakers still in gridlock - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

110 days with no Illinois budget, lawmakers still in gridlock

Illinois capitol building (Source: KFVS) Illinois capitol building (Source: KFVS)
"There’s gonna have to be some kind of movement out of the comptrollers office on the insistence that we balance the budget on the backs of the middle class." State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) "There’s gonna have to be some kind of movement out of the comptrollers office on the insistence that we balance the budget on the backs of the middle class." State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion)
“Madigan is trying to choke a bill down the throat of lawmakers who have had no ability to give input. We have to have give and take. We need to have more open negotiations.” --State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) “Madigan is trying to choke a bill down the throat of lawmakers who have had no ability to give input. We have to have give and take. We need to have more open negotiations.” --State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro)
"Now when the state is in a critical situation, we wind up with politicians pointing fingers at each other, and nothing’s getting done. And a lot of people are starting to suffer as a result." --Political Analyst, Professor David Yepsen "Now when the state is in a critical situation, we wind up with politicians pointing fingers at each other, and nothing’s getting done. And a lot of people are starting to suffer as a result." --Political Analyst, Professor David Yepsen
"12.8 million people across the state are getting royally screwed because 177 people are not doing their jobs.” --Williamson Co Commissioner Ron Ellis "12.8 million people across the state are getting royally screwed because 177 people are not doing their jobs.” --Williamson Co Commissioner Ron Ellis
(KFVS) -

Illinois has now operated without a budget for the longest time in the states’ history, and some local leaders in Illinois are saying they’re reaching the end of their rope.

When the May 31st deadline came and went with no agreement in Springfield, Williamson county commissioners met to discuss a plan.

“We had a $1.4 million cash reserved saved up” Commissioner Ron Ellis explained “theoretically, that money is for natural disasters, major equipment replacements, and other things that tend to sneak up on you.”

For just under four months as of Friday, that money has gone to fill the hole where state payments are becoming more and more noticeably absent.

“Right now? We’re $900,000 in the hole.” Ellis explained, “If they don’t find a way to make this work by December… I mean, until now we’ve avoided layoffs of some grant-funded state workers and that sort of thing, but once that reserve’s gone, it’s gone.”

Ellis says moving into the 2016 fiscal year, things will be complicated.

“We’re just guessing… going by what they gave us last year,” Ellis explained, “and we’ll probably meet once a month until they come to a decision to recalculate everything, because it will be changing constantly.”

Republican state representative Terri Bryant of Murphysboro says lawmaker disagreements in health and human services are the main hitch, as well as how to pay for them, while Democratic representative John Bradley of Marion blames a push by the comptroller to “pin the problems on the middle class.”

SIU political analyst David Yepsen says the lack of payments to state-services is causing long-term ramifications for the state.

“This crisis is giving Illinois a bad name for economic development.” Yepsen explained, “Who wants to put a business here? who wants to expand here? not knowing what kind of tax burden they’re going to have? Not knowing what kind of public services are going to get cut?”

Commissioner Ron Ellis recently announced intentions to sue the state of Illinois due to the situation.

“we are required to provide certain services to our residents at the county level.” Ellis explained, “but the state is not paying for those services.

Ellis says the Williamson County States Attorney is looking for a standing for the at-this-time theoretical litigation.

The special session resumes Thursday, September 24th to find a solution.

Yepsen believes a decision is most likely to come when the regular session picks up in January when the house will only need a simple majority to come to an agreement. In the upcoming special session; the decision requires a three-fifths majority.

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