House Overrides Rauner's Budget Veto, Ends Historic Budget Impasse

The vote means the budget plan is now law

The Illinois House on Thursday voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget plan and income tax hike, making them both law.

“Today was another step in Illinois’ never-ending tragic trail of tax hikes," Rauner said in a statement. "Speaker Madigan’s 32 percent permanent income tax increase will force another tax hike in the near future."

In the end, 10 of the 15 Republicans who voted against the governor on the original bill voted for the override.

"The people of this chamber did not do what was easy today," House Speaker Michael Madigan said. "But we did what was right for the future of our state."

The state’s budget crisis is finally over after two-plus years of not coming to an agreement, and now lawmakers can focus on implementing the new plans and dealing with the next step in the process. NBC 5’s Charlie Wojciechowski has the latest on an eventful day in Springfield.

Handshakes were seen on the floor of the House after the longest budget crisis since the Great Depression was over.

The override followed a brief lockdown of the statehouse as lawmakers arrived to vote. Authorities said the lockdown was due to a security situation, and NBC affiliate WAND-TV reported a powder was found in front Rauner's office and an arrest was made.

The Illinois Senate voted earlier in the week to override Rauner's vetoes. The governor vetoed the measures shortly after the Senate sent them to his desk, taking particular issue with the tax increase that was part of a revenue plan among three bills passed in ongoing negotiations to enact the state's first budget in over two years.

"I just vetoed Speaker Madigan's 32% permanent income tax increase," Rauner tweeted Tuesday afternoon. 

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"This budget package does not provide property tax relief to struggling families and employers," Rauner said in a statement. "It does not provide regulatory relief to businesses to create jobs and grow the economy. It does not include real term limits on state elected officials to fix our broken political system."

Speaking in Chicago Wednesday, Rauner added that the permanent 32 percent tax hike "is a disaster."

"This is a 2x4 smacked across the forehead," he said. "It will solve one of our problems and make them worse."

The measure raises the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and the corporate tax rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.

The tax hikes are projected to raise roughly $5 billion at a time when Illinois has a $6.2 billion annual deficit and a $14.7 billion backlog of overdue bills.

"I will always veto tax hikes without fundamental reform," Rauner said Wednesday. 

What Happens If Illinois Lawmakers Don't Pass a Budget?

Dozens of lawmakers in the House left Springfield before session, eliminating the chance of an override vote on Tuesday. 

"House Democrats look forward to working with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to begin healing the wounds of the last several years," Madigan said in a statement Wednesday. 

The state narrowly avoided a downgrade to “junk” bond status as the House passed the budget plan Monday.

Members of both parties had cheered the budget as it was sent to Rauner's desk Tuesday.

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