Still no budget after Saturday session


Illinois is teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff. 

Tensions boiled over in a heated House debate between the two party leaders. 

It’s day one of a new fiscal year, and still no budget. 

Lawmakers met for about an hour in the House before tensions broke out.

Shouting and hollering erupted on the floor. 

One Republican calling House Speaker Michael Madigan “speaker junk” 

A reference to the impending junk status of the state’s credit rating 

It could be triggered at any point now. 

It could come down at any time from Wall Street. 

Lawmakers are increasingly concerned about what’s at stake beyond the state’s junk status. 

A federal judge’s ruling ordered Medicaid payments to the front of the line.

Meaning nearly $600 million a month must go to Medicaid organizations. 

This puts pension payments, school funding, and state worker paychecks in jeopardy. 

It could spark a de facto government shut down should the money run out. 

The pressure led to a tense moment between Speaker Madigan and Leader Jim Durkin.

“You know because you’re part of the negotiations. There will be no bills to call tomorrow. You know that,” said Speaker Madigan, D-Chicago.

“I still contend this can be resolved very quickly. I want this done today,” said Leader Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge.

Leader Durkin left that quick exchange for a meeting with Christine Radogno and Senate President John Cullerton. 

We’ve also learned Speaker Madigan does plan to call a vote on a tax bill. 

A potential increase in taxes of $5 billion on Sunday.

Day two of this new fiscal year without a budget. 

Speaker Madigan sent a letter to the credit ratings agencies asking for more time to reach a deal before they downgrade Illinois. 

Still no response from the ratings agencies.

Leader Radogno called the letters a stunt designed as “political cover.”


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