Will the ‘Grand Bargain' Pass the Illinois Senate? Sources Predict Drama

Springfield sources said "there will be a lot of drama in the Senate" Wednesday afternoon, as legislators continue attempts at brokering a deal to end Illinois’ nearly two-yearlong budget impasse.

Several lawmakers have claimed that Gov. Bruce Rauner "is desperate for a deal" as his re-election campaign moves closer, making a compromise more likely. 

Lawmakers believe the Senate will approve an income tax hike Wednesday, as well as funding for the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools district - which needs to fill a $215 million gap to meet its teacher pension payment on June 30. 

However, it’s not clear if these efforts would be enough to prevent the City of Chicago from considering other additional tax increases.

If it passes, the Senate’s so-called "Grand Bargain" would then move to the Illinois House for approval. This spring, talks for an earlier "Grand Bargain" broke down and an expected vote in March didn't take place.  

That proposal included an income and corporate tax hike, as well a potential expansion of the sales tax on services, as well as borrowing to pay down the state's unpaid bills and contributing more than $200 million to CPS' pension funds.

Lawmakers are working on a tight deadline to pass a budget, as the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 31. After that, lawmakers would need a three-fifths majority to pass the bill, rather than a simple majority.

Contact Us