IL legislators miss budget deadline yet again

Lydia Fleming
July 3, 2017

He says their work is "clearly not done", and in a rare move, took to the floor to tell members they will have to show up for work on Saturday - the first day of Year 3 without a budget.

Republicans and Democrats in the Illinois House and Senate reiterated that on Saturday, saying they've made "significant progress" toward landing a deal.

Lawmakers have blown through two deadlines to pass a balanced budget, and IL is in Day Two of its third consecutive fiscal year without one.

And nothing will happen again Sunday, although you can expect even more sound and fury, when House Democrats have scheduled a vote on tax increase legislation that is destined to fail because Republicans won't vote for it. IL has already been warned, it will be the first state ever to be downgraded to junk bond status if it can't reach a deal before the end of the fiscal year. Since the last state budget expired two years ago, IL has rung up a $6.2 billion annual deficit and a $14.7 billion stack of past-due bills.

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Also, state-funded construction projects would be halted and the state's credit rating would likely be downgraded to junk status. However, the worst effect could be that the state's credit rating could be downgraded further, to "junk" status.

The Prairie State's last annual budget expired two years ago Friday.

Friday, the House passed one major slice of the budget plan: the spending bill.

After decades of fiscal mismanagement, IL faces $15 billion in unpaid bills and owes a whopping quarter-trillion dollars to public employees when they retire.

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The proposed spending doesn't address the state's $15 billion bill backlog.

"The majority in the General Assembly has chosen to hold innocent people, our most vulnerable residents and essential services hostage to pass an excessive, unwarranted tax hike", his statement continued.

Rauner has also not been present at negotiating meetings.

The two sides appeared to be getting closer to an agreement when almost two dozen Republicans joined Democrats in voting Friday for an amendment to a budget bill that seeks to spend about $36.5 billion. He said chief negotiators for state appropriations, revenue and workers' compensation issues will work through the weekend.

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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.

Other reports by Info About Network

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