01252017CM0043 rSenate budget deal in progress; Stadelman reacts to State of the State address

Efforts continue in the Illinois Senate’s to craft a bipartisan compromise and break the two-year budget stalemate that has crippled state finances and economic growth. Newspapers throughout Illinois are heralding negotiations between Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, a Republican, as a potential breakthrough in a historic budget standoff that otherwise appears to have no end in sight.

The deal could be voted on when lawmakers return to Springfield the week of Feb. 7. Among its components are property tax relief, local government consolidation, procurement reform, workers compensation reform, school funding reform and gaming expansion.

Even Governor Bruce Rauner, in his 2017 budget address this week, praised the Senate for taking the lead in forging an agreement.

“I appreciate the governor’s acknowledgement," Stadelman said. "However, weeks after state funding ended for higher education and services for our most vulnerable citizens, the governor once again failed to lay out his own plan to address the two-year budget impasse. Compromise is difficult and takes time, but I look forward to continuing to work in the Senate toward a negotiated, bipartisan and long overdue spending plan.”

Stadelman offers utility bill clinic this week

State Senator Steve Stadelman has invited experts from the Citizens Utility Board to conduct a free clinic where local consumers can learn ways to reduce their gas, electric and landline telephone bills. The clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Rockford Public Library East Branch, 6685 State St., Rockford.

CUB advisors will offer one-on-one analysis of gas, electric and landline phone bills, information on spotting billing errors and incentives designed to help people improve energy efficiency.

“Utility costs always take a bite out of people’s wallets in the dead of winter, when people are also faced with holiday bills coming due,” Stadelman said. “This workshop offers a chance to learn about all the cost-savings options that are available."

Consumers are encouraged to call or email to secure an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome on a first-come, first-served basis. Refreshments will be provided. To register for the clinic, please call Adjua Goosby at 312-263-4282 ext. 111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the subject line: Rockford 1/31.