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Blown Deadline: What's Next For Budgetless Illinois?

02 Juin 2017

The proposal now needs Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature, but Rauner has reportedly said he won't support the measure, which he and other Republicans have called a "bailout" for the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools.

"The state's now $14.5 billion backlog will continue to grow, as will the interest the state owes on its unpaid bills", Mendoza said in a statement.

All this played out during a raucous day inside a Capitol filled with protesters upset that a state budget deal seems unlikely to be reached by the Wednesday night deadline for the regular legislative session.

For more than two years, the main political divide in Springfield has been between Democrats and Republicans. Budget approval after Wednesday takes a three-fifths supermajority vote. We need to protect our taxpayers... and we need a balanced budget.

The fallout from the Illinois General Assembly failing to reach a budget compromise by midnight Wednesday was swift.

"General Assembly, that just want to do a tax hike with no reforms".

Despite the absence of state funding, CPS CEO, Forest Claypool, has announced schools will open on time for students in the fall. Rauner continues to demand cost-cutting restrictions to workers' compensation and a property tax freeze for homeowners. We could have and should have done this two years ago.

Meanwhile, the government functions most pinched by the lack of a budget will continue to be squeezed.

Billions in debt let IL politicians present a balanced budget. But this year's budget failure exposed an additional set of fault lines - among Democrats. IL pays those expenses for all other districts. Lawmakers still have not agreed on a budget. The proposal also includes savings from a pension bill that is not yet law and would only achieve short-term savings while increasing costs down the road.

State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), who sponsored the bill in the House, says the bill would increase voter participation and bring the voter registration system in IL up to date. It included raising the individual income tax rate from 3.75 to 4.95 percent, raising the corporate rate from 5.25 to 7 percent, and expanding the state sales tax to a number of services. Yet none of politicians' promises came true.

The House passed a plan to pay for 911 centers throughout the state.

Illinoisans need to plow clear their political fields and install new leaders who not only embrace Lincoln's ideals of "government of the people, by the people, for the people", but who are willing to go forth and put those noble ideals into action. The state's manufacturing base collapsed and never recovered like in neighboring states.

The group Illinois Working Together however, was not impressed, saying that the governor should "drop his agenda and do his job". But the reforms only come in new dollars, and we're in IL.

The Illinois Senate has approved a two-year property tax freeze.

Lawmakers simply spent the money and left IL on a budgetary cliff when the tax hike expired.

Moody's also lowered the state's ratings.

Two credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service, slapped IL with downgrades Thursday, hours after lawmakers blew off a budget deadline.

Demonstrators march near the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield. IL would be the first state to automatically register citizens who visit agencies other than the DMV.

IL can't afford to put off structural reforms any longer.

Blown Deadline: What's Next For Budgetless Illinois?