Illinois House Passes Temporary State Budget

The $2.3 billion plan that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes was endorsed 71-19 Thursday

The Democratic-controlled Illinois House passed a short-term government spending plan Thursday.

Although the stopgap budget padded with guaranteed state-employee paychecks for July won House approval, the change delays its delivery to the governor. 

The $2.3 billion plan that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes was endorsed 71-19 Thursday. It must return to the Senate for concurrence because of the pay provision. The previous version included just emergency expenses.

The fiscal outline would allow state government to continue functioning through July while Democrats in the General Assembly wrangle with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner over how much to spend for the year. 

The fiscal year began July 1 without state authority to pay its bills. The pay provision responded to House Republicans' effort to create a state law guaranteeing that state employees get paid regardless of whether there's spending authority — a move that Democrats mocked as a bank-breaker and buried in parliamentary procedures.

Rauner wants to enact changes in the legal, business and political climates that he says will spur job-creation and raise revenue. The Democrats say those measures aren't related to the budget and he should negotiate with them over "vital services."

Rauner objects to a short-term budget. He says it ignores the state's real needs.

Thursday afternoon Gov. Rauner's spokesperson Lance Trover issued the below statement following the Illinois House’s partisan vote to pass "another unbalanced and unconstitutional budget plan":

“Voting to spend money the state doesn’t have is the cause of Illinois’ financial crisis. Today, Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls irresponsibly voted for yet another unbalanced budget plan. We saw today that Speaker Madigan can force 70 legislators to join him in voting for an unconstitutional budget. We also saw the Speaker's unwillingness to hold a vote on a tax increase that, absent reform, would suffer bipartisan defeat. The Speaker's failure to take up an accompanying revenue plan is a clear signal that rank-and-file members of the General Assembly understand that reform is necessary. It’s time to end the status quo and get serious about fixing our state.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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