Health Care

Illinois Republicans Help Pass Democratic Budget Plan with Big Tax Increase

Illinois Republicans Help Pass Democratic Budget Plan with Big Tax Increase”

IL lawmakers continued to work on a budget compromise on Saturday, the first day of its third fiscal year without a balanced spending plan.

The impasse is the longest of any state, since at least the Great Depression.

The fiscal morass is the longest of any state since at least the Great Depression, with IL ringing up a $6.2 billion annual deficit and a $14.7 billion stack of past-due bills.

Though Rauner hasn't weighed in on the proposal, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin's "aye" vote can be viewed as a blessing-if not of the spending plan itself, of the vote's serving as an entrée to further negotiations.

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"We're going into very risky territory", Dunn said.

The Chicago Democrat appeared briefly on the House floor Saturday to say legislative leaders would meet again.

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IL is less than 24 hours from beginning a third straight year without a budget.

"House Speaker Michael Madigan says he sent a letter to the bond rating agencies, "... asking them to defer any further opinions relative to the credit rating of the state of IL, until we've had sufficient time to finalize our budget-making". If lawmakers intend to spend $36.5 billion in fiscal 2018, nearly $5 billion in new revenue would be needed to make it balanced.

The state is supposed to have a balanced budget in place by July 1.

Pritchard said that real property tax relief would come from putting more money into education, which would allow local school districts and taxpayers to keep their rates down. "That is still something that's open to negotiation", Durkin said.

The proposed spending doesn't address the state's $15 billion bill backlog. Not just to get passage but to bring us past 71 and that to me is my commitment to you that we continue our work today.

Rauner has also not been present at negotiating meetings. It's unclear whether House members who voted for Friday's spending outline would cast similar tallies for a yet-to-be-unveiled revenue plan, which will likely include a 32 percent hike in the personal income tax rate, from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. 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.

- State employee pensions would be fully funded.



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