Special session underway but no sign of budget

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- There was business today on the House floor but still no budget.

Senate Democrats want the House to take up their budget plan but the politics are complicated.

“There are a lot of things that happen politically that impede on our work here at the dome, under the dome,” said Sen. Toi Hutchinson.

Democrats say Republicans are trying to box them into voting for massive tax hikes.

“We are all in this together,” Sen. Hutchinson said. “It’s going to take all of us together and it cannot continue to be a situation where we are required to compromise on reforms, but it’s just our tax increase.”

So far House Democrats have declined to vote on a revenue plan passed by the Senate. They don’t want to go on the record supporting tax hikes the governor’s team says he’ll veto.

On the Republican side today, they wanted to talk school funding.

“Illinois has extreme disparities in the way they spend money on our school districts,” Sen. Jason Barickman said.

GOP legislators say the Democratic bill to change how the state divvies up education money is a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

“ I continue to believe that the numbers published for Senate bill 1 masked and hide the true benefit to Chicago,” Barickman said.

The state owes Illinois school districts more than a billion dollars and at the moment there is no funding for this upcoming school year.

Tomorrow, there is another committee meeting, per House Speaker Madigan’s order. Lawmakers will discuss Governor Rauner’s proposed property tax freeze. Rauner calls that the number one change he’s seeking.

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