Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Illinois Ends Two-Year Budget Battle After Chemical Scare

Illinois Ends Two-Year Budget Battle After Chemical Scare Illinois Ends Two-Year Budget Battle After Chemical Scare
Preston Stone | 08 July, 2017, 00:12

The two-year budget stalemate in IL is finally over - but the state's daunting financial troubles haven't gone away.

- Supporters of the $36.1 billion budget plan say it is balanced, with $200 million more in revenue than spending.

Rauner, a billionaire Republican who had never held office, gained the governor's mansion in 2014 on a promise to "shake up Springfield". "Our options are this - or financial meltdown", said Andersson.

The House is set to convene this afternoon to vote on a budget bill vetoed by the Governor which would raise the both individual and corporate income taxes in the state.

The action eases some financial woes, but it's fueled by a permanent 32 percent increase in the income tax rate, raising $5 billion more annually, and it reduces spending by more than $2 billion.

The drama across the IL state capitol continued even as lawmakers gathered to cast their votes.

The situation is "immoral", said GOP Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights. State law requires these owners awards to be paid even if the legislation doesn't fund them, and lacking state funding for the last two years, the awards have been deducted from tracks' purse accounts.

House representatives voted on Thursday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto, ushering in higher income taxes along with a bit of fiscal certainty the state hasn't had since 2015.

Instead, the vote to override is "another step in Illinois' never-ending tragic trail of tax hikes", Rauner said in a statement.

"I was sent to Springfield to fix our problems, not to make them worse", Hammond said.

In a flurry of wide-ranging reaction after the vote, supporters of the measure - including Democrats, social agencies, labor unions and school-related entities - laid blame on Rauner for the long budget impasse and predicted the new measure will begin to fix the state's finances.

Illinois Ends Two-Year Budget Battle After Chemical Scare
Illinois Ends Two-Year Budget Battle After Chemical Scare

Lawmakers say their budget is just the beginning of what will be a long recovery.

The state's finances remain a mess, with over $15 billion in overdue bills because of the budget standoff. Two agencies gave IL some breathing room Monday after House votes over the weekend.

Opponents of the new tax and budget, generally political conservatives or business entities, blamed Madigan for the past two years' jolting political drama and predicted the tax hikes would ultimately worsen the state's economy.

"Only through true property tax relief, meaningful workers' compensation reform and a fair and equitable school funding reform model will IL have a strong foundation for future job growth and education excellence", he said.

Four House Republicans who originally had voted for the tax increase last week switched to the opposition Thursday, but their places were taken by four Democrats who crossed over after voting no last week.

A single person who earns $34,000 a year would pay an additional $382 a year.

Sadly, this tax hike is going to hurt ordinary Illinoisans. "We can do better", Frese said. "I'm glad the Illinois General Assembly did the right thing and overrode the governor's veto". We have accumulated more debt than any state. "I am confident voters will hold these politicians accountable for choosing Mike Madigan over the people of IL", he said.

The first-term governor and most of the Legislature are up for election in the fall of 2018.

The lottery recently put a $25,000 cap on winnings that the state would pay immediately, and pulled out of the multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions games, because it lacked spending authority with no budget.

That prompted a hazardous-material investigation, according to Springfield fire officials.

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