Illinois Without Spending Authority; Dems Try For Temporary Plan

July 01, 2015
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D)

House Speaker Michael Madigan says it would cost $2.2 billion, or approximately three-percent what the state spends in a year.

(Photo: Brian Mackey/WUIS)

Illinois is officially without a state budget -- the deadline to pass one came and went any movement toward a compromise. Lawmakers are poised to vote on a temporary version Wednesday.

No state budget means Illinois has no authority to cut checks.

Democrats say can they prevent a shutdown with a one month plan. House Speaker Michael Madigan says it would cost $2.2 billion, or approximately three-percent what the state spends in a year.

"This is another opportunity to not shut down the government," Madigan said. "To keep the essential services of the government flowing, that's the purpose here."

Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, often doesn't stick with his party on fiscal issues; it's very unusual for him to go along with a budget. But he says he's going to this time.

"A vote against this is saying kids who are on ventilators will not get their treatment," he said. "A vote against this is really saying that people are going to die."

But Gov. Bruce Rauner says a short-term plan is phony and unacceptable. It appears his fellow Republicans are sticking by him.

"An interim budget wouldn't be appropriate. We ought to solve the problems," Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, said.

But without GOP support, and with so many legislators absent from the statehouse, the plan could be doomed.

Democratic legislators are at odds with Rauner over the state's future. Madigan continues to say that Rauner's demands the legislature pass items like term limits, an overhaul of workers' compensation, and a property tax freeze that's linked with diminishing unions' power are "extreme" and that a solution to the state's financial troubles lie in moderation. Gov. Rauner, says his plans are "extreme common sense." During a visit to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Tuesday morning, Gov. Rauner attempted to reassure state employees that despite the "stressful time," but that it's worth it. He says he'll continue to be persistent.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio