Illinois House Adjourns As Budget Meetings Go On

A $36.5 billion plan to rebuild Illinois' crumbling finances passed a critical test on Friday, but a powerful legislative leader said no deal would be reached before a midnight deadline - meaning IL will enter its third consecutive fiscal year without a budget. The fiscal morass is the longest in any state since at least the Great Depression.

IL has a $6.2 billion annual deficit and $14.7 billion in unpaid bills.

The revenue legislation would increase the personal income tax rate 32 percent.

House Democrats are advancing legislation this week created to get a budget deal by appeasing Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on the tangential issues he's demanded.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he will let a bill repealing a St. Louis minimum wage. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the proposed budget continues to fund bad government behavior. Initially, Speaker Madigan had said there would be no votes on substantive bills tomorrow either, but late Saturday afternoon he released a statement that there will be a vote on the revenue package.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has said almost 700 roadwork projects would stop, putting an estimated 25,000 people out of work, because the state can't spend money collected through the gas tax without the Legislature approving an appropriation. "Illinois is now at risk of entering a negative credit spiral, where downgraded credit ratings would trigger contingent demands on state liquidity, further exacerbating its fiscal distress".

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Brian Mackey reports on the spending and tax-hike votes House Democrats scheduled for Friday.

"While the majority in the General Assembly has been unable to move forward with a balanced budget, it has found the time to inflict further abuse on IL taxpayers. That is still something that's open to negotiation", Durkin said.

Hours before the fiscal year runs out, the Illinois House voted 90-25 to approve a budget amendment. "It's my hope, and prayer, frankly, that we can get that done in the next few hours, to provide the relief and a plan that the people of IL need", Brady said, surrounded by Republican senators at the steps out a grand stair case in the capitol rotunda. "I want this done today".

Although the now proposed budget passed a test vote on Friday, it will not receive a final vote in time.

In addition to the budget, the meetings focused on issues demanded by Rauner. Representatives indicated that the two sides were close on workers' compensation but there was still plenty of work to be done on a property tax freeze.

She said that would make "the unthinkable" — such as delaying pension payments or not paying state workers — very likely.

  • Marjorie Miles