- Published: Tuesday, December 01, 2015 09:34 AM
SPRINGFIELD — Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) issued the following statement about Tuesday's scheduled budget meeting between Illinois' legislative leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner:
"For the first time in more than six months, Gov. Bruce Rauner will convene a meeting with Illinois’ four legislative leaders on Tuesday.
It's easy to be cynical about such a meeting — painfully easy, in fact. But as we enter the sixth month of the fiscal year with no budget in sight, those of us who are focused on the devastating human consequences of this situation need to hold on to whatever hope we can find.
This prolonged situation has already inflicted untold harm by destroying the state’s vital human services network, by worsening its already bleak financial picture and by marring its fiscal reputation so severely that it will take years to recover.
The damage is evidenced each time a human services provider closes its doors, each time a teenager has nowhere to go to be safe after school and each time a family is turned away for counseling services.
All of this is happening because Gov. Rauner has steadfastly refused to negotiate about the budget until the General Assembly capitulates to his demands to enact a radical anti-worker agenda. The fact of the matter is that this agenda can't pass because a majority of legislators simply don't think support his ideas. That's how democracy works — and Gov. Rauner will only get his way by convincing those of us who disagree with his ideas to change our minds, not by taking innocent hostages.
It’s time for Gov. Rauner to end the stalemate and start negotiating with the state’s elected lawmakers. Illinois needs a budget now. Everything else, including the governor’s anti-worker agenda, must wait."