Lawmakers sit and wait while leaders continue stopgap budget talks

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois lawmakers are in a holding pattern as they wait for the state’s political leaders to hammer out a stopgap state budget.

The General Assembly is at a standstill this afternoon. They’re waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders to emerge from their closed-door negotiations on a stopgap budget.

Governor Rauner, Democrats House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, and Republican minority leaders Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno have been in talks since nine Wednesday morning. Senate President Cullerton emerged to give a brief update early Wednesday.

While neither side will divulge details of the ongoing talks, the two sides have differing opinions on how much additional state funding should go to the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.

Democrats have sponsored bills that would send hundreds of millions in additional state aid to the district, but Rauner has maintained that he will not support any K-12 budget plan that bails out Chicago schools.

Illinois will enter its second year without a budget if they cannot come to an agreement by Friday.