Budget – FY17
·         As year-end deadline approaches, talks are suspended.  Many facets of state spending are moving towards limbo with the approach of New Year’s Eve.  December 31 is the expiration date for the so-called “stopgap budget” that is authorizing much of the State’s spending activities during the final two quarters of calendar year 2016.  The “stopgap budget,” which was enacted in summer 2016, was meant to serve as a bridge to cover the first half of the 2017 fiscal year while budget negotiations took place.  However, high-level budget talks have been suspended.  Governor Bruce Rauner stated on Wednesday, December 14, that based on his face-to-face contacts with leading Democrats, negotiations are not being productive at this time.   

Under the complex current Illinois budget situation, not all areas of State spending are tied to the so-called “stopgap budget.”  Significant FY17 spending programs, such as Medicaid and pay for state employees, are tied to court orders, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations.  Other spending programs are being carried out through December 31 in line with the so-called stopgap budget.  Still other areas are not covered by any current appropriation at all, and monies for these programs are not being spent.  Many entities that are not receiving needed state funding, such as community colleges and offices that carry out many social programs, are begging for relief.    
Budget – FY17
·         Leaders meetings do not generate budget agreement.  With the “stopgap” six-month budget for the first half of FY17 scheduled to expire on December 31, pressure is being placed on key Illinois officials to develop a budget agreement. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Governor Bruce Rauner, and other leaders were meeting almost daily in Chicago.  Key issues include cash flow for State spending areas covered in the “stopgap” budget.  Renewed appropriations are required if these areas are to get funding in January 2017 and following months.  However, no agreement has yet been reached

Pressure for a budget deal is being driven by the deteriorating financial condition of the State.  The Comptroller’s office indicated that Illinois had, as of Tuesday, December 6, piled up a backlog of unpaid bills totaling more than $10.6 billion.  These include both bills that are actually in the Comptroller’s office awaiting payment and bills that are in the various State agencies and have not yet been forwarded to the Comptroller.
Budget – FY17
·         Governor Rauner renews call for property tax freeze and term limits. Substantial segments of Illinois state spending are scheduled to run dry with the expiration of the so-called ‘stopgap” State budget that is covering the first half of FY17.  This period of time will end on December 31, 2016, and further State action will be required to keep those facets of State spending in operation.  However, meetings between Governor Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, have not yet succeeded in achieving the level of agreement necessary for a budget bill to move forward.

Many Republicans believe that structural reforms are necessary in order to justify the investment of additional taxpayer money.  Governor Rauner has released a video on his Facebook page describing his call for legislative term limits and a freeze on Illinois property tax extensions.  Representative Mark Batinick introduced a property tax extension freeze bill in the Illinois House on Tuesday, December 1.