As the democrats are preparing to take over Illinois' state government for the first time in more than 25 years, the legislatives Black Caucus is meeting in Rockford this week to discuss some of the problems facing the state.
With Illinois lawmakers facing a monumental task of balancing a state budget that could exceed $3.6 billion next year, Black Caucus members are trying to cut spending without sacrificing services, but it's an effort that could come at the cost of raising taxes.
Twenty-six Illinois Black Caucus members from around the state are brainstorming with experts in education, healthcare and economics trying to get a jump-start on the next legislative session.
Districts that share similar concerns when it comes to problems an issues facing a multitude of state services.
But Illinois' widening budget deficit has some lawmakers cautioning that democrats should promise too much so soon since raising taxes and eliminating some services may be the only way out of the state's budget crunch.
A serious problem the speaker says they will have to address if lawmakers want to balance what he says could be the biggest budget deficit in state history.