Illinois House to Vote on Possible Veto Override Thursday

The Illinois House is expected to hold a vote Thursday to determine if it will override the governor's vetoes of a budget plan and income tax hike sent to him on the Fourth of July. 

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan announced the news Wednesday after promising to call for such a vote following Gov. Bruce Rauner's Independence Day move. 

"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. 

The Illinois Senate already voted Tuesday to override Rauner's vetoes. 

Rauner 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."

Rauner, speaking in Chicago Wednesday, added that the permanent 32 percent tax hike "is a disaster" and told lawmakers "do not override my veto."

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

The measure would raise 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. 

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. 

“The General Assembly came together to seek compromise,” Democratic State Sen. Jacqueline Collins said in a statement. “It was not easy to make this deal, which contains many items I, too, deeply dislike. It was nevertheless the responsible course of action, and one we should have carried out years ago. I urge the governor to sign these measures into law and end the budget impasse.”

Still, some Republicans called it a "disappointment."

"Raising taxes and failing to address any of the fundamental issues that plague our state is detrimental to taxpayers," State Sen. Dan McConchie said in a statement. "We’ve seen this before and it doesn’t work. This is the exact same failed approach the state took in 2011—increase taxes without addressing the underlying issues hurting our state. Continuing the mistakes of the past will not bring us a brighter future. This budget plan is bad for businesses and especially bad for families, and it certainly isn’t attracting people and businesses to Illinois. We had a real opportunity to come together and find bipartisan compromise. Unfortunately, today was a missed opportunity." 

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