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State Representative Bob Pritchard Says Budget Passage Near in Springfield
03 July 2017, 01:33 | Leigh Flowers
The Illinois House is in session continuing budget negotiations.
His caucus stood with cheers and jeers, chanting support for continued work as Madigan left the floor to one GOP member's denouement, "Speaker Junk!"
Earlier Saturday, Madigan rankled Republicans when he announced that there would be no votes on a deal to end a two-year stalemate this weekend.
What was billed as deadline day on Friday began with a test vote on House Democrats' $36 billion spending proposal, and a warning that failure carried dire consequences.
The House still has to vote again on the spending bill, along with a revenue package. IL has already been warned, it will be the first state ever to be downgraded to junk bond status if it can't reach a deal before the end of the fiscal year.
During its record-breaking fiscal impasse, the state has racked up $14.6 billion in unpaid bills, and bond houses are warning the state's credit rating could be downgraded to junk status. Without a budget soon, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts and road construction shuts down.
At stake for taxpayers is a 32 percent income tax hike that would move the rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent effective July 1. Earlier this week, S&P Global Ratings warned that it would probably issue the demotion if IL failed to pass a budget before Saturday. Not just to get passage but to bring us past 71 and that to me is my commitment to you that we continue our work today.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called the vote a good step forward before sending letters to various credit-rating agencies requesting more time to for the legislature to negotiate before any downgrade. It would raise about $5 billion.
- About $36.5 billion in spending, some $2.4 billion less than the $39 billion in uncontrolled spending in fiscal year 2017. Along with a property tax freeze, the Republican wants to restrict costs in programs for injured workers and state-employee pensions.
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