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Backlog of Bills Worry Local Lawmakers at Chamber Update

Baylee Steelman
From left, state lawmakers Dan Brady, Jason Barickman and Bill Brady answer questions on how they will move forward with the new state budget.

Central Illinois lawmakers are viewing the newly passed budget as a temporary solution to the state's long-term issues.

Appearing Thursday at the McLean County Chamber of Commerce's State Legislative Update were Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington; newly elected Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington; Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington. The Q&A session was held at the Hancock Stadium Club Room at Illinois State University.

The lawmakers discussed moving forward with the newly passed budget, following two years of a historic Illinois budget crisis. Dan Brady said having the budget is a step toward fixing the state's finances, despite his vote against it. 

"The other concern is the backlog of bills the budget doesn't address, the pay-down of those," said Brady. "That is what the bond houses will continue to look at. We're very focused on how the state is working out of a debt load." 

Dan Brady said his constituents in his district did not support increasing taxes when lawmakers could not do their part.

"Don't ask for more money from me, in the way of a tax, until you can prove to me you've done the bow tying you need to do to have the reforms in place that are going to help the future of this state," said Brady. "And you have equitable funding across the state of Illinois when it comes to public education."

Brady said the budget impasse has created irreparable harm to the partnership between House Speaker Michael Madigan and Gov. Bruce Rauner. He said the legislature will be stepping up to work in a bipartisan matter on reform and future state budgets.

An evidence-based model to allocate funds to Illinois schools is waiting for Rauner's signature after passing through the Illinois House and Senate.

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Baylee Steelman joined us in November 2016. She is a journalism major graduating in May 2018. She mainly covers Bloomington City and Normal Town Council meetings, Unit 5 School Board meetings, produces the weekend News In Review, and helps run GLT events. Baylee also produces and anchors at TV-10, Illinois State University's student TV news station.
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