Estimate: Special session costs $48K for 1 day

Published: Jun. 21, 2017 at 4:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Latest on the Illinois Legislature's budget special session (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Rough estimates show that it costs nearly $48,000 for one day of legislative special session in Illinois, factoring in travel and per diem payments for lawmakers.

The Secretary of the Senate's office provided a snapshot, accounting for $111 daily per diem and 39 cents per mile for 177 members of the General Assembly. The total also includes paying staff needed when lawmakers are at the Capitol.

However, the actual cost may be lower. The calculation considers full attendance and several lawmakers were gone Wednesday.

Also, some lawmakers say they are forgoing the per diem payments, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Legislative officials couldn't immediately say how many were following suit, saying the paperwork could take some time.

Gov. Bruce Rauner called a special session to force a budget deal. It started Wednesday and could last up to 10 days. The Republican had previously dismissed the idea as too costly. This year as Illinois could enter a third straight year without a budget, he said the special session was urgently needed.


2 p.m.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he's ready to work on a budget with anyone who wants to solve the state's impasse.

The Democrat spoke to reporters after his chamber adjourned on Wednesday, the first day of a special session called by Gov. Bruce Rauner to force a deal. The House and Senate are expected to convene again on Thursday.

Madigan says House Democrats are working on an outline of a spending plan. Republicans have presented their plan, as have Senate Democrats.

The special session could last up to 10 days.

If lawmakers don't reach an agreement by July 1, Illinois will enter a third consecutive year without a budget. There could be major consequences without a budget, including another credit downgrade for the state.


12:45 p.m.

The first day of a special session on Illinois' budget impasse is off to a slow start.

About half an hour after convening on Wednesday, the Illinois House adjourned until Thursday. House members will spend Wednesday meeting privately and holding public hearings. The Senate, which also convened Wednesday, will also meet privately.

Gov. Bruce Rauner called the special session that could last up to 10 days to force a resolution to the state's budget impasse. If lawmakers don't reach an agreement by July 1, Illinois will enter a third consecutive year without a budget.

The rhetoric has been sharp with Republicans legislators holding a Wednesday morning news conference to tout their budget plan as a compromise and accuse Democrats of being unable to balance a budget. Meanwhile, Democrats say Republicans have been in attack mode.


11:55 a.m.

Top Illinois Republicans are urging the Democrat-controlled Legislature to consider a plan they say is a "compromise" that could end the state's budget impasse.

The plan calls for a property tax freeze and workers compensation reforms, along with an income tax increase. However, they say they don't want to deal with the revenue part of the plan until other reforms have been considered.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and others spoke to reporters on Wednesday, the first day of a special session Gov. Bruce Rauner has called on the budget. If lawmakers fail to approve a plan before July 1, Illinois will enter a third straight year without a budget.

Durkin also blasted Democrats for raising questions about some of the provisions in the bill, saying they've failed to approve balance budgets for years.

Democrats have said the plan, and Republicans' tone in presenting it, has been far from bipartisan. Senate Democrats say they've also introduced a compromise plan that could work.


6:45 a.m.

Illinois lawmakers tasked with resolving the state's unprecedented budget impasse are gathering to begin the effort.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called a special session in Springfield that starts Wednesday, saying the time to act hasn't been more urgent. The House and Senate convene at noon.

If there's no budget by July 1, the state will begin a third consecutive year without a spending plan. Credit ratings agencies have already said they'll downgrade the state's worst-in-then-nation rating to "junk status."

The first-term Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature have been deadlocked since 2015.

Rauner says he wants pro-business reforms in conjunction with a budget. Democrats say they've approved several of those ideas, but Republicans keep changing their demands. Republicans say Democratic efforts fall short.