- Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:21 AM
After hearing Governor Quinn’s budget proposal, State Senator Dave Koehler said that he thinks the real key to balancing the state budget this year will be bipartisanship.
“Last year, we saw a bipartisan budgeting process in the Illinois House,” Koehler said. “Democrats and Republicans worked together and made tough choices. In the Senate, we saw a lot of press conferences, grandstanding, and refusal to compromise. That can’t happen again this year. We’re all going to have to work together.”
Koehler believes that the governor’s budget plan can be a starting point for budget negotiations.
“Look, the governor’s plan is always just the starting point for negotiations,” Koehler explained. “It really is important for us to know his priorities and his ideas, but no governor ever gets exactly what he wants. Governor Quinn said he’s still waiting to hear back from working groups on Medicaid and pensions, and those are a major part of the state budget. Still, his budget plan gives us a place to start in important areas like education and human services spending.”
One of the major parts of the governor’s speech was a plan to close 14 major state facilities and dozens of smaller service centers, including a halfway house in Peoria.