Deal to break impasse could be in works, says lawmaker

A plan could be coming together to end the 18-month-long state budget impasse, but one lawmaker is still concerned the logjam may continue.

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said he hears a deal is being worked amongst legislative leaders in the State Senate as a means of circumventing the bad blood between House Speaker Michael Madigan and the governor.

“It does kind of make sense that maybe there would be some shoots out of the Senate because the relationship there is a little more cordial, to say the least,” Batinick said.

While the exact details of the deal are not yet known, in the past Gov. Rauner has expressed openness to considering an increase in the state income tax, if it were paired with significant economic reforms, such as property tax freezes, workers’ compensation reform or term limits.

However, Batinick is cautious.

“You never know what’s going to brought up during lame duck (session). We could have great compromise or we could just be sent home early,” Batinick said.

The final two days of Illinois’ 99th General Assembly are Monday and Tuesday. That’s when legislation can pass with simple majorities.

Batinick has a measure freezing property taxes across the state set for a committee hearing Monday. The bill would require a voter referendum for any increase.

“Frankly, freezing it is not enough. I think we need to lower property taxes, but I am going to do my little part to try and move the state in a positive direction,” Batinick said.

Batinick said his property tax freeze measure could be part of other movements by rank-and-file to get a deal together to end the budget logjam.

“The Titanic is sinking and something needs to be done soon,” Batinick said. “There’s just been a lot more talk between rank-and-file lawmakers about brainstorming of ways to solve the impasse.”

Batinick’s bill is just one in the House Revenue and Finance Committee. Another measure from state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, amends the state’s income tax, but no further information was immediately available.

Other possible reforms that could happen during so-called lame duck session change how the state funds K-12 education.

–Illinois News Network

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