Petty Democratic Politics Ruin IL Budget Deal

By Kim Geiger, Monique Garcia and Rick Pearson on May 31st, 2016:

ral Senate Democrats, including some members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, were unhappy with the budget blueprint Madigan muscled through the House last week, contending the longtime speaker too often dictates to them what the state budget will be. The bill failed, garnering only 17 “yes” votes and 31 “no” votes — an emphatic rejection of the powerful Madigan, who also chairs the state Democratic Party.

As an alternative, Senate Democrats led 37-19 approval of a funding bill solely for grade schools and high schools. The plan would give Chicago Public Schools about $475 million more and increase dollars for elementary and secondary education statewide by $900 million.

But House Democrats, in a political payback, helped defeat the measure with only 24 voting in favor and 92 voting against shortly before midnight.

“This is nothing more than political theater. This is nothing more than political nonsense,” said Democratic Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo, who added that the Democratic-led General Assembly “utterly failed” its’ spring session duties by not creating a state budget.

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