Gov. Rauner Threatens To Keep Lawmakers In Springfield, Indefinitely
(CBS) -- The special session to work out a state budget could go into overtime.
Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday said he will extend the compulsory session and keep Illinois legislators in Springfield past Friday, when a new budget needs to be in place for the next fiscal year.
"If the legislature fails to send a balanced budget package to my desk by Friday, we will have no choice but to keep them in session until they get the job done," Rauner, a Republican, said in a prepared statement issued by his office.
The first-term governor has not been able to reach full-year budget deals with the Democratic-controlled House and Senate -- only stopgap spending measures.
Now, however, pressure has mounted on both Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders to come to an agreement to avoid crushing state financial problems and more disruptions in social services that rely on state funding.
The four legislative leaders met inside House Speaker Michael Madigan's office, with no progress to report Wednesday.
"I don't know that I'm optimistic. I'm hopeful," state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, tells CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley.
Blowing the July 1 deadline will produce drastic consequences. Junk bond status will likely follow, increasing the state's borrowing costs. State universities, already pressured, worry about further consequences.
"If the universities can't demonstrate they're on firm financial footing, they could lose accreditation," higher education lobbyist Ed Maloney said.
The state is preparing to shut down 900 transportation projects worth $5 billion, throwing 25,000 workers off the job. The waste doesn't end there.
"It will cost $25 million just to shut it down," IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said.
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