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House Votes on "Middle of the Road" Budget

Updated: Friday, May 30 2014, 03:53 PM CDT
ILLINOIS -- After voting on two very different versions of the budget so far this year, the Illinois House took up a so-called "middle of the road" version today.

Two weeks ago, the House barely passed a $37 billion spending plan. But when it became apparent they didn't have the votes to extend the state's income tax, which was necessary to fund the spending plan, they scrapped the legislation.

Lawmakers have also since voted down a bare-bones budget.

Republicans, who lobbied against the original income tax-reliant budget, say Democrats have left them out of the budget process, and once there finally is a plan, Republicans are only given hours to review the proposal before a vote.

"Folks back home don't know this, but this is really bad process," Rep. Ron Sandack (R - Downers Grove) said. "It's embarrassing to the state of Illinois. It's not worthy of our consideration in this chamber. You want to have a budget? Do it the right way."

This new "middle of the road" budget plan would keep elementary and high school education funding flat, but would make cuts to other areas, including the Department of Corrections.

As for the temporary income tax, it may not be dead. Senate President John Cullerton said the tax increase and other revenue sources could be on the table after the November election.

Democrats need to pass a budget by the end of the month. If they don't, any budget plan will need a 3/5 super majority vote of approval, instead of a simple majority. House Votes on "Middle of the Road" Budget


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