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Separate votes help lawmakers finds more common ground

Working to find more common ground in resolving a two-year budget gridlock, Senate lawmakers took separate votes February 28 on about half of the measures that make up the budget framework being negotiated by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).

Senator Jim Oberweis says he appreciated the opportunity to voice his support or opposition to each bill.

“Today’s progress was measured by the fact that we approved five of seven measures that make up the budget framework,” Senator Oberweis said. “We voted on the merits of the bills and we found common ground. Now we can concentrate on working to resolve the other more controversial parts of the negotiations.”

Senator Oberweis said he voted for local government consolidation; negotiated procurement reforms that could save $70 million; and state employee pension reform. He voted against gambling expansion, a $7.7 billion supplemental spending bill, and pension parity for Chicago Public Schools.

“Today’s votes show that with more give and take, we can make the rest of the framework worthy of being called a ‘grand bargain,’” Senator Oberweis said. “Right now, there are too much of tax increases and not enough of spending cuts and very little in meaningful structural reforms. Let’s keep the momentum going and work together to pass a budget and reforms package that will work for us all.”

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