Illinois Senate, House Lack Agreement on Illinois Budget Revenue Estimates

Springfield, IL) — March 31, 2011. A budgetary battle could be brewing in the state Capitol, but not necessarily between Republicans and Democrats.

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) appeared together Wednesday morning to deliver a joint message of fiscal discipline.

Madigan and Cross’ relationship has been cold in the past. It appeared Wednesday, however, that the two have teamed up to start pushing pieces of legislation that could end up being parts of the state’s budget.

The united front in the Illinois House could mean that this year’s budget could pit senators against state representatives, instead of the traditional Democrat vs. Republican.

A recently passed law requires that the Legislature lay out how much money it will have to spend before deciding who gets what. Governor Pat Quinn’s office, the House and the state Senate have all come up with different revenue projections.

Reconciling those, and therefore the different chamber’s budget bills, could be troublesome.

Madigan laid out one possibility Wednesday during the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee. When the Senate and the House can’t come to some kind of agreement on a specific bill, five members from each chamber meet and try to hammer out the details in a conference committee.

(more…)