“WHAT he wants is so radical,” says John Cullerton. Sitting amid the Germanic splendour of the Berghoff, a local haunt that has been serving beer and sausages for over a century, the president of the Illinois Senate explains why his state still does not have a budget for the current financial year: Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of Illinois, is making his approval of the budget contingent on the passage of his business-friendly reform agenda. The problem is that his proposals are too radical for the Democrat-controlled Senate and lower House, Mr Cullerton says. Both sides are refusing to budge.
As a result, Illinois is now in its second month without a budget. There is little indication that Mr Rauner, Mr Cullerton and Michael Madigan, the speaker of the House, will come to an agreement soon. In May Mr Rauner, a first-year governor and political neophyte, vetoed the budget lawmakers sent him because he wanted the legislature to back his reforms (the budget also exceeded revenues by over $3 billion). He has been particularly keen on curbing payouts for workplace injuries and restricting public-sector employees’...Continue reading