Dems Push ‘Grand Bargain’ Votes in Senate, Declare Progress

From US News: Major portions of what is supposed to be the bipartisan “grand bargain” budget compromise won Illinois Senate approval Wednesday in a largely partisan manner, setting off more maneuvering as lawmakers attempt to avoid a third consecutive year without a budget and with the 2018 race for governor heating up.

Majority Democrats proclaimed progress in approving overhauls of a deficit-laden state pension system, an antiquated and unfair means of financing public schools, a measure to encourage consolidating the most local government bodies of any state in the nation and even a $36.5 billion budget plan for the coming year.

“Do ya think it’s going to get any better, seriously?” Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago challenged Republicans during floor debate.

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