Lawmakers back today to work on budget deal


The announcement by Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, came just a day after a harmonious House, tired of the two-year standoff with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, overwhelmingly approved a $36.5 billion spending plan on a preliminary vote. The fiscal morass is the longest in any state since at least the Great Depression. However, the worst outcome could be that the state's credit rating could be downgraded further, to "junk" status.

Madigan also said he would send messages to the major credit agencies, which promised a downgrade of Illinois' creditworthiness if the state didn't have a deal by the new fiscal year.

Although the House passed the amendment by a 95-20 vote, it still faces a tough battle in the Senate. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the proposed budget continues to fund bad government behavior. Democrats must drum up support not only for the spending plan, but also for a politically unpopular revenue measure.

Republicans said that was code for allowing lawmakers to go home for the weekend, which it was, and complained Democrats were ducking their responsibility, which was nonsense.

IL is already on track for record spending in the governor's race; Republicans are also attempting to make dents in Democrats' legislative majorities.

"What got IL in trouble over the past 12 years was passing spending bills but not tying it to revenue, so we would continue to spend more than the revenue coming in, which put IL in its debt situation", Syverson said.

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Advocacy groups on all sides are calling on state lawmakers to stop the bickering and break the gridlock that affects residents of all ages and walks of life. And we can get into that.

"We're going to save our state".

The House still has to vote again on the spending bill, along with a revenue package. "Saying that we're done today, come back me, it speaks for itself". Democrats also don't seem open to a temporary income tax increase.

Mendoza, the state comptroller, warned this week that without a budget, the state by August will have $185 million more in state-mandated and court-ordered payments than it will have revenue to pay them. And any dramatic cuts to school funding would not be possible without a massive increase in property taxes. Without a deal this time, the United Way reports that 36 percent of all human services agencies in IL face closure by year's end, according to Rep. Greg Harris, the Chicago Democrat sponsoring the fiscal blueprint.

Madigan's announcement of the vote appeared to countermand his earlier statement that there would be no budget vote before Monday. Earlier this week, S&P Global Ratings warned that it would probably issue the demotion if IL failed to pass a budget before Saturday.