Dem Leaders Come To Budget Agreement, Will Revisit Revenue After Election
By Hannah Meisel
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says he's come to an agreement on state spending with the speaker of the Illinois House, but Cullerton is leaving the door open for an income tax hike after the November election.
President Cullerton said he met with House Speaker Michael Madigan Wednesday and came to an agreement on the state spending plan the House pushed through earlier this week. That budget keeps state spending relatively flat.
Though Democratic leadership gave up on extending the 2011 income tax hike past its scheduled expiration, the budget avoids massive cuts by shuffling around funds and putting off payments to vendors.
It has taken years to dig just halfway out of the state's deadbeat payment cycle, but this will exacerbate the problem.
Cullerton indicated this budget may not survive much past the November election anyway. He said lawmakers will have to find some way to fill the massive hole caused by the expiration of the tax hike.
"We're going to have to," he said. "That's what our point was from the start. Because this budget will show that there's many unmet needs."
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) predicted "possibly thousands" of layoffs in state government.