Illinois Budget Impasse Sends Lawmakers into Overtime Session

June 11, 2015

Illinois lawmakers still haven’t reached a budget deal, even though the legislative session came to a close on May 31st. The General Assembly and Governor Rauner have until July 1 to come to a solution—the date when the new fiscal year begins.

As my colleague Joseph Henchman pointed out recently,

[Governor] Rauner in February proposed a balanced $31.5 billion budget with no tax increases. Last week, the Democratic majority in the Legislature instead passed a budget totaling $36.3 billion, about $3 billion more than available revenue.

Yesterday, the Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger reminded us all that time is quickly running out. According to a Reuters report of her statements,

Bills incurred in the current fiscal year will be paid, she said, but her hands are tied for most fiscal 2016 bills and payments without appropriation authority from a budget.

Munger said continuing appropriations allow for payments for state bonds, retired worker pensions, revenue-sharing to local governments, and certain assistance programs for the poor or disabled.

Without a budget, state workers will not get paid starting July 15, school districts will not receive Aug. 10 state aid payments, and new vendor and Medicaid provider payments will stop, she said.

What will happen next? That’s anyone’s guess. Governor Rauner has said he won’t consider increasing taxes unless legislators consider several of the proposals floated by him earlier in the year. The Chicago Tribune reported at the end of May that “Rauner [is] already looking ahead to [an] overtime [session in June], rather than attempting to broker a broad-based deal to end the session on time.”

That overtime session began this week, and we still haven’t seen a solution. And that solution is likely to be even harder to come by now, given that passing a budget in an overtime session requires a three-fifths majority.

We’ll continue to provide updates as the debate continues, and be sure to take a look at our latest chart book, Illinois Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes and the Economy.

More on Illinois here. Follow Liz on Twitter.


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