By John Gregory
September 24, 2015
The budget stalemate won't end when the House is in session today, but Democrats say there's a clear path to a compromise Gov. Bruce Rauner is simply refusing to take.
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) says credit rating agencies have made it clear what has to happen for the state to balance its budget for this fiscal year.
"We've got to make some cuts and we're going to have to raise some revenue. This should not be a mystery but the governor just wants to keep holding this stuff hostage to get his so-called 'turnaround agenda' done," Harris said.
So is there anything in the agenda Democrats can live with? State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), one of the more progressive members of the House, mentions workers' compensation changes and tort reform as Rauner proposals he's at least open to discussing. Limits on collective bargaining are another matter.
"I think that anything undermines people's right to organize is going to be difficult for me (to support)," Guzzardi said.
Until Rauner takes what Democrats consider "anti-union" proposals off the table, an agreement seems highly unlikely.
"I think that if the governor decided that he wanted a solution to this problem, it would be done in the blink of an eye," Guzzardi said.
The governor's office continues to place the blame on the Democratic majority in the General Assembly.
"The governor has asked for structural reforms to free up resources to help the most vulnerable and to create jobs which will grow the economy. Unfortunately, the majority party continues to block the governor’s reforms to protect the political class at the expense of the most vulnerable," said governor's office spokeswoman Catherine Kelly.