House Budget Vote Today: 'A Moment Of Truth'

State Budget Battle:

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner had already threatened to keep lawmakers working if they couldn't reach a deal. 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.).

When the new fiscal year begins at midnight, it will mark the third in a row that IL has started without a full budget.

Some House leaders expected after meetings Friday night and Saturday morning that the chamber would proceed with a final vote and a roll call on a $5 billion income-tax increase to support it. Republicans reacted angrily to the unexpected development.

"There is no agreement on a comprehensive budget package that includes reforms and revenue".

IL will enter a third straight year without a budget. Illinois' deficit for the current fiscal year is an estimated $6 billion. Without a budget soon, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts and road construction shuts down. He also said he would send messages to the major credit agencies, which have promised to downgrade Illinois' creditworthiness without a deal by Saturday, seeking more time to finalize the pact.

A federal judge Friday found IL non-compliant with its Medicaid payments, ruling the state must pay $293 million a month and $1 billion over the next year to help mitigate the $3 billion it owes to health-care providers.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called the vote a good step forward before sending letters to various credit-rating agencies requesting more time to for the legislature to negotiate before any downgrade.

As he was inaugurated, a temporary, four-year Democratic income tax increase that had provided up to $7 billion extra a year was allowed to expire, and the tax rate rolled back.

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. They want more of the same - more spending and higher taxes. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said the proposed budget continues to fund bad government behavior.

"We adopted an amendment to a bill that would be the spending plan for the state of IL".

She said that would make "the unthinkable" — such as delaying pension payments or not paying state workers — very likely.



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