Illinois House Takes Step to Ending Budget Impasse

Illinois Countdown to Junk Status Continues

Springfield, Ill (24/7 NewsSource) - Illinois lawmakers are taking the debate over a new state budget down to the final day. Should they lead to a deal, the General Assembly will be in session Saturday to take action (the House will convene at 11 a.m., the Senate at 2 p.m.).

A $36.5 billion plan to rebuild Illinois' crumbling finances passed a critical test on Friday, but a powerful legislative leader said no deal would be reached before a midnight deadline - meaning IL will enter its third consecutive fiscal year without a budget. That's because House Speaker Michael Madigan is making his own non-budget demands.

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.

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.

"If we don't have a budget deal in place by midnight on June 30, it is nearly a guaranteed certainty, because the credit-rating agencies have already said as much, they will downgrade us into junk-bond territory, and then good luck trying to climb out of that", state comptroller Susana Mendoza told reporters in Springfield Thursday.

"Anything that prevents a tax hike at this point is good news", said the Illinois State Representative, David McSweeney. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the proposed budget continues to fund bad government behavior. I am hopeful that the governor will recognize these compromises.

Some Illinois universities, which haven't received any money from the state in 2017, stand to lose their federal accreditation.




Rep. Jeanne Ives criticized the House budget plan as bloated spending and requiring a tax increase that taxpayers can't afford.

"We are close", he said on the House floor.

Although the now proposed budget passed a test vote on Friday, it will not receive a final vote in time. They want more of the same - more spending and higher taxes.

"I think it says a lot".

Consolidated customers who would normally receive direct funding or service reimbursements from the state are having trouble getting these payments, Smith said.

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.

Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, noted that much more work needs to be done, but said: "This is a good step forward, a step we can build upon". While we've made progress on solving the governor's budget crisis, we are not done.

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