Statehouse
4:58 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Cullerton Taunts GOP Over Budget Delay

John Cullerton
Senate President John Cullerton
Credit Illinois Senate

The campaign for governor seeped into a debate in the Illinois Senate Wednesday. It let senators get into a little partisan elbowing.

Legislators were in town for just two days of session this week, and they only passed one bill. It lets Gov. Pat Quinn delay his budget address from mid-February to the end of March. The administration says it needs the delay to continue crunching numbers.

Republicans, however — like Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale — say Quinn has something else on his mind.

"The governor is waiting to see who his Republican opponent is," Dillard said. "And this denies taxpayers the opportunity to have input ... into a very crucial budget."

Of course, Dillard, along with two other Republicans who piled on, are also seeking higher office.

That prompted Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, to call them out. He suggested the Senate set aside the day the governor's address would have been so anyone could present a budget plan.

"Surely people who have been running for governor for five years have some ideas about what their budget should be," Cullerton said.

No word yet on whether anyone plans to take him up on that offer.