Illinois Legislature to Miss Midnight Deadline to Pass Budget

A 2015 protest by advocates for victims of domestic abuse takes place outside state offices in downtown Chicago. The protests were sparked by a lack of funding for domestic violence shelters due to the state's budget crisis
The Latest: Illinois House begins tax hike debate
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03 July, 2017

Earlier in the day, Madigan announced that leaders continued to meet and that no votes would be taken Saturday or Sunday on budget bills or the reforms demanded by Rauner.

The preliminary nature of the vote means IL missed the deadline and will begin a third year-fiscal year 2018-without a budget in place.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan took to the floor, saying a vote wouldn't take place this weekend. Initially, Speaker Madigan had said there would be no votes on substantive bills tomorrow either, but late Saturday afternoon he released a statement that there will be a vote on the revenue package.

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.

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.

Without a budget, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts, road construction shuts down, Powerball ticket sales have halted, and the state's credit rating could be downgraded to "junk".

Missing that deadline means that the country's major bond-rating houses could downgrade the state's creditworthiness to "junk" status, however Madigan has said he is asking those agencies to give IL more time before making the downgrade official.

After two years of gamesmanship, gridlock and ever-deepening fiscal turmoil, Illinois saw a potential breakthrough Friday morning, when a $36.5 billion spending plan cleared a major hurdle in the Illinois House.

A new rift developed Saturday when Madigan and Durkin sparred on the House floor over the pace of negotiations.

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Governor Rauner did not comment on Friday's House action.

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.

Friday is the final day of Illinois' fiscal year.

The Illinois House plans a vote Sunday on what would likely be an increase in the personal income tax rate of 32 percent as the search continues for a budget settlement.

"This override is a signal of what we should be doing next, which is voting on a fully funded budget for the state of IL", said Democratic Rep. Carol Ammons. Along with a property tax freeze, the Republican wants to restrict costs in programs for injured workers and state-employee pensions.

Rauner has also not been present at negotiating meetings.

A three-fifths majority of 71 votes is required to move the legislation through the House because the deadline to pass it with a simple majority was May 31.

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.


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