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Illinois budget battle continues as end of session draws near

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois - Illinois lawmakers are days away from missing a budget deadline for the second year in a row.

Top leaders met again and once again, there's no budget deal but there's still plenty of finger-pointing.

"There was a dramatic change in tone today. The Democrat leaders essentially pulled the plug on negotiations," said Senate Republican Leader, Christine Radogno.

While Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan puts the blame on the governor, "The governor continues to fail to persuade in these working groups in part because he`s introducing new items such as proposed changes in the retiree health plan."

This week the Democratic majority passed Madigan's budget bill.

However, Republicans argue it will only drive the state deeper into debt, about $7 billion deeper.

Not all democrats voted in favor of the bill. In an unusual move, Quad City Representative Mike Smiddy voted present.

"I had to vote present on that budget due to the fact that I had a conflict of interest part of that budget had $63 million dollars for state workers back pay and I am a state employee with corrections and prior to me going into the legislature we took a pay freeze," said Representative Smiddy.

Representative Smiddy says if there was no Conflict of interest involved he would have probably voted no.

"I was hoping we could do something on elementary and secondary and higher education," said Representative Smiddy.

Governor Rauner says he supports that too, but still says the state needs a budget that includes his reform.

However, time is running out.

"I think our focus mainly now until Tuesday will be kind of figure out a budget package that will be suitable for both sides. Whether we can do that or not is still up in the air," said Representative Smiddy.

Both the House and Senate will take Saturday off and return to session on Sunday, May 39th.

After Tuesday it will take three-fifths votes in both chambers to pass a new state budget.

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