Meanwhile, in a crowded field for Naperville Township Trustee, incumbents Kerry Malm and Paul Santucci won their primary contests while challengers Jim Ruhl and Heather Bejda also advanced. Incumbent Warren Dixon, III, also won his primary contest. All winners will advance on to the April 4 Election to face Democratic challengers chosen by caucus previously.
In Aurora, two of the four mayoral candidates remain standing to fill retired Mayor Tom Weisner’s seat after he stepped down in November of 2016. Richard Irvin and Rick Guzman will face each other exclusively on the April 4th ballot. Challengers Linda Chapa LaVia and Michael Saville did not receive enough votes to advance.
Richard Irvin is a local attorney and Alderman at Large for the City of Aurora. Rick Guzman is an Assistant Chief of Staff for the Mayor’s Office of Aurora.
Congratulations to all the candidates that won their primary contests.
In Springfield yesterday, it seemed like the wheels came off the Grand Bargain. Though expected, no votes were taken on the package and it’s unclear at this point what the future might mean for the proposed budget.
Now, I’ve written a lot about the Senate’s Grand Bargain lately. To catch up, the Grand Bargain is a package of bills in the Illinois State Senate that outline a budget compromise. All bills have language included that if one fails they all fail. So for better or worse, the bills are effectively tied together, but they spanned a huge swath of topics. There were proposed income tax increases, property tax freezes, budget appropriations, workers’ compensation reform, pension reform, and the promise of school funding reform.
Senate President Cullerton and Minority Leader Radogno were negotiating the outline of the agreement apparently for weeks before they announced the project in January. With no movement in the House, the Grand Bargain represents the most significant progress on a bi-partisan budget compromise in months.
And there were things in the package for which I was critical. Most significantly, the “Opportunity Tax” was a payroll tax that was not designed to grow competitiveness for Illinois businesses. The proposed service tax on specific industries like storage companies, repair and maintenance firms, landscaping businesses, and dry cleaning operations also was not going to help Illinois business grow.
However, there is no doubt that a bipartisan budget compromise is needed. It is often cited that Illinois loses $11 million dollars a day we don’t have a budget. Schools, non-profits, businesses, and Illinoisans everywhere are hurting because they don’t know when Illinois will pay.
On Tuesday, the Senate held votes on some of the least controversial parts of the compromise. Everyone was expecting votes on the remainder of the Grand Bargain on Wednesday, but it never came. Senator Cullerton announced that there would be no votes on Grand Bargain yesterday, and that we were in a “holding pattern.”
For her part, Leader Radogno said, “I have no question in my mind that we’re going to bring this thing in for a landing.” She went on cite how much good will is in the Senate and that she was confident the Governor would join the Senate to put a bow on it.
At the end of the day, a bi-partisan compromise is needed. I hope this hiccup will demonstrate how important this issue is. I know there so much hard work being done with the best intentions. Illinois needs a full and balanced budget that can help our economy grow. Let’s hope the Senate can keep working through this “holding pattern.”