News Local/State

House Democrats Defy Governor, Push Own Budget


A potential new state budget barely passed the Illinois House Wednesday night,  but Governor Bruce Rauner is already signaling a veto.

The Republican says it spends $7 billion more than the state takes in.

But Representative Barbara Flynn Currie -- one of the top Democrats -- says with less than a week left until the end of the legislative session ... the spending plan is like insurance.

"It is not possible for us to walk away from this chamber without having offered some security to the people of the state of Illinois that there will be a budget, that we can govern the state, and that vulnerable populations will find that, there needs can be met," she said.

The package calls for a significant increase in how much Illinois spends on education --- especially for poor districts and to Chicago Public Schools.

It does not include funding for social service agencies that have been getting money via court order ... with the expectation that will continue.

Illinois Senators will have to vote on the package next.

Rauner says he's open to a tax hike that could help balance the budget, but only if he gets his way on a controversial agenda that strips unions of collective bargaining rights and helps businesses save money.

Illinois has operated without a budget since July 1, 2015, after Gov. Rauner vetoed an out-of-balance spending plan. He demanded union-weakening changes and other proposals in exchange for signing off for a tax increase to help close a budget deficit.