Illinois legislators to meet for 2nd day of budget session
SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Illinois legislators were gaveled in and gaveled right back out on the second day of a special session aimed at forcing a budget compromise in the state's two-year impasse.
Lawmakers have to come to an agreement by July 1 or Illinois will enter its third straight year without a budget.
There's been little movement on any compromise so far with little indication things will change on Thursday.
Carly O'Keefe talked to Illinois State Representative Terry Bryant moments after lawmakers were gaveled out of session. Bryant was visibly frustrated.
"We were gaveled in, they read the Governor's proclamation, and then immediately we were gaveled out of special session. So, I'll tell you, it's…it makes me angry. I'm trying to choose the right word for this, but there's a lot of money being spent and us being in special session. I appreciate that the governor called us into special session because the speaker did not. So that was the impetus to get us here. But then to immediately gavel us out of special session and move into regular session, we could have been here every day since May 31 in regular session, and for whatever reason the speaker chose not to do that. So we're here every day trying to get a budget and we're running everything except budget bills right now. So, for folks at home, they just need to understand, we're here. Ready to work. And whatever that means toward a budget right now, we're ready to sit down and negotiate many of these issues and some folks are doing that right now. So, don't get too discouraged. We still have a little bit of time before the end of the month, but this kind of stuff, these kind of shenanigans going on don't help the situation."
According to the Secretary of the Senate's office, it costs roughly $48,000 per day of legislative session in Illinois. That estimate factors in travel and per diem payments for lawmakers.
Some lawmakers are forgoing the per diem payments, including Republican Senator Paul Schimpf who represents the 58th district, " I turned in paperwork yesterday declining any reimbursement for these days that we're up here. I feel like if we can't get our job done, we shouldn't be paid any extra. So, I turned that paperwork in and I won't be receiving compensation for these days."
The House is scheduled to hear testimony on workers' compensation, a reform that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing. However, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan says the point is to hear from middle-class workers who'll be impacted by changes.
Rauner called for the special session, saying the situation is urgent. He's been deadlocked with Democrats who control the Legislature since taking office in 2015.
Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.