Friday, July 20, 2007

Budget negotiation update


Today’s leaders’ meeting focused on spending instead of ways to generate new revenue. There also was talk that electric rate relief may be around the corner.

As far as the budget, there seems to be no visible movement. “Reports that there’s a deal and so forth, that’s erroneous,” Senate President Emil Jones Jr. said.

However, Deputy Governor Shelia Nix said progress has been made, and that next week should be a key week in getting the budget wrapped up by the end of the month.

Sen. Jones said, “The governor had his revenue proposal to drive the budget, and that’s been rejected by the House. We the Senate Democrats put forth our revenue proposal to fund education, to take care of the capital needs of state of Illinois, the House rejected that,”

He also said, “Now perhaps the House will come forth with its revenue measure and maybe the speaker will go ahead and push the income tax.”

In other news, electric rate relief proposal may be in the final stages of completion.

Jones, along with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan has scheduled a fly-around trip to discuss details of a statewide electric rate relief package. “It’s being put together,” Jones said. “It’s not complete as of yet.” However, he did say “the deal is pretty, pretty close.”

The group intends to release the details on Monday said Jones. The trip will begin in Peoria, then to Decatur, Cahokia and end in Marion.

Both chambers will be out for the weekend, the first time since the special sessions began. They’re scheduled to get back to work Monday afternoon.

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