With the new fiscal year set to begin in a week, Illinois lawmakers are expected to go into session Wednesday to possibly consider a stopgap budget plan.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said lawmakers are "very, very close" to reaching an agreement on a temporary budget. But the governor made it clear that he will not support a budget measure that contains a "bailout" for Chicago Public Schools, which is facing a $1 billion budget deficit.
"What we've been told from the other side is that they're willing to work out with us the stopgap budget, that we're close," Rauner told reporters Thursday. "But what they've also made crystal clear is that Chicago's public schools need a bailout, want a bailout, and they're going to hold up everything in these budgets, in these negotiations, for Chicago Public Schools to get a bailout. That's not fair."
House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman Steve Brown maintains that "no one's talking about bailouts" for CPS. For his part, Senate President John Cullerton "remains hopefully optimistic that a bipartisan agreement is close at hand," his spokesman said.
Illinois has gone without a budget since July 1. The regular legislative session ended May 31 without a budget agreement. Since that time, Madigan canceled three House sessions as working groups of legislators continued to meet for budget negotiations.