At the close of the spring session, one lawmaker reflects on the season he said did not start in the bipartisan nature Gov. JB Pritzker promised.
House Deputy Republican Leader Dan Brady said discussions across the aisle improved on the state budget bill and he is optimistic about working with the Democratic majority in the future.
But that doesn’t mean it was perfect.
“I hope that in the election cycle that will be upcoming that there is some change in numbers for Republicans in the House and the superminority that we find ourselves in,” Brady said.
Pritzker's style, personality, and ways of communicating are different than former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. And Brady said those differences are “in a positive way.”
“Only because he did reach out on certain occasions. Not with certain pieces of legislation—I point to the minimum wage—but budget negotiations towards the end there was some input, there was compromise, and that made for a better product.”
The minimum wage increase passed the House with no Republican votes.
Brady emphasized that the budget is better after bipartisan discussions, but not perfect. He said he is most pleased with how well Illinois State University made out.
The approved budget includes close to $70 million for ISU operations next year, a 5% bump over this year. The university is also expected to receive $89 million to renovate Milner Library and $62 million to rehab the College of Fine Arts complex.
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