House Passes 30-Day Budget, Returns To Senate

 
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to cabinet members during a meeting at the state Capitol, Feb. 25  in Springfield,

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to cabinet members during a meeting at the state Capitol, Feb. 25 in Springfield,

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

A budget that would temporarily cover state expenses - including government employees' paychecks passed the Illinois House Thursday afternoon.  But there's a big chance it won't ever become law.

The spending plan covers services Democrats say are "critical."

The original version stopped there. Now it does more. Political hay has been made over a judge's determination that state workers won't be paid without a budget.  Now, their salaries are covered by the plan too.

After a failed attempt last week, this time Democrats in the House stuck together. They passed the July budget, with the bare minimum number of votes. 

"A one-month funding plan gives us time to put our heads together, to behave like grown-ups, to responsible for the budget, for the full fiscal year," said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie.

The $2.3 billion plan that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner opposes was endorsed 71-19 Thursday.  No Republicans voted for the stop gap plan. 

It must return to the Senate for concurrence because of the pay provision. The previous version included just emergency expenses.

The measure has to go back to the Senate, where there are enough Democrats to easily pass it next week.

That would put Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in a tricky spot.  He has repeatedly said he'll do all he can to ensure workers get paid in full, and on time. But he's also on record saying he won't sign a temporary budget, calling this one "unbalanced."

The Democratic Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, said he met with Rauner Thursday morning.

"I had a frank discussion with the governor and I gave him what I considered to be good solid advice," he said.  "I'm not going to share it with you -- it was a private conversation. But we left on good terms."

It comes a day after Rauner Wednesday publicly accused Madigan of standing in the way of compromise.

The Speaker says it's time for Rauner to move off of his long-term agenda, and focus on putting a spending plan in place.  Madigan says he believes Rauner is trying to use a "divide and conquer" strategy against him, but that it isn't working.

Story source: AP