Illinois House Takes Step to Ending Budget Impasse

Illinois Lawmakers Convene Special Session As Budget Deadline Looms

Illinois House Takes Step to Ending Budget Impasse

Madigan said the House would reconvene Saturday to continue budget negotiations.

Republican State Representative Pritchard says a test vote passed 90 to 28 in Illinois House Friday morning, showing lawmakers support a balanced budget that is being negotiated now.

To make a point, Madigan scheduled a tax increase vote for Sunday.

IL still doesn't have a budget, but with the fiscal year ending at midnight Friday night, there's something extraordinary out of Springfield: renewed hope of an agreement on end to the historic stalemate.

IL has a $6.2 billion annual deficit and $14.7 billion in unpaid bills. Without a budget soon, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts and road construction shuts down.

IL is at risk of becoming the first state to get slapped with a credit downgrade to "junk", which could make its money problems even worse.

There's a sign that a state budget will be passed this weekend.

"I come to you today with great joy, not with regret or despair".

The State Journal Register reports that House Speaker Michael Madigan has indicated that the House will remain in session tomorrow to finalize negotiations on the tax package and hash-out other issues. Their rates would increase from about $2,250 annually to about $2,970, depending on how many exemptions they claim.

The plan won't get a final vote before the fiscal year starts Saturday, however.

"The problem we have is we have this giant backlog of bills that are accruing interest that is crushing the state", Hays said.

Rauner has demanded cost-cutting changes to workers' compensation laws, which he says are needed to lure businesses to IL.

As he was inaugurated, a temporary, four-year Democratic income tax increase that had provided up to $7 billion extra a year was allowed to expire, and the tax rate rolled back.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said Friday's vote was nearly meaningless as the bill would require Senate concurrence and it is still unclear how the other half of the General Assembly would vote.

Social service agencies, contracted by the state to care for vulnerable populations, that have limped along without state funding will have to endure further strain; already many have laid off employees and reduced services.

Democrats, who have large majorities in the Legislature, argue that Rauner's demands are an attack on the middle class.

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