Anderson believed to support 'grand bargain'
State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Rock Island) has not announced his vote on the "grand bargain" compromise budget, but it is believed that he will vote "yes."
The state Senate leadership, President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), worked to negotiate the budget plan. Although it's not the budget that the Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislators had hoped for, it incorporates some reforms, including amendments to workers' compensation and freezing property taxes for two years.
The bipartisan plan also increases state income taxes by more than 30 percent, adds a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and bails out the Chicago Teachers pension fund by $215 million for 2016 and $225 million for 2017, according to analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute.
When Rauner spoke to the joint meeting of the General Assembly on Feb. 15, he made it clear that a two-year property tax freeze was not enough. He pressed for a permanent property tax freeze. He also pushed for more extensive reforms to workers' compensation insurance to make the state more business-friendly.
“Now is the time for bipartisan compromise," Anderson said in an announcement on his website after Rauner's address. "Recently, we have seen momentum in the Senate toward a bipartisan budget framework. It is my hope that in the coming weeks we can build on that framework, and find real, bipartisan solutions to our fiscal problems to get Illinois back on track."
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