SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Legislature worked past its midnight deadline to approve a $42 billion state budget early Tuesday, but are waiting to send it to Gov. JB Pritzker for his signature.
After both the Illinois House and Illinois Senate approved the spending plan, largely along party lines, Senate President Don Harmon, a Chicago Democrat, filed a motion to reconsider the vote, preventing the budget from going to the governor’s desk until the Senate votes on his motion, but he pulled it Tuesday afternoon.
The budget plan approved by majority Democrats is based on tax revenue sources that rebounded much faster from the global pandemic than expected and including $2.5 billion in spending from a multiyear federal relief package.
Tuesday, Pritzker spoke in Springfield about the budget.
“Thanks to the new leadership in the General Assembly, a willingness to put discipline over desire, the fierce advocacy of so many across our state fighting for a better Illinois, we are changing out story about Illinois,” Pritzker said.
Representative Dan Brady (105th District-R) says he has several concerns with the passed budget, including that COVID-19 relief funds are not being used to address some of the state’s debt.
“We spent in this budget about $1.5 billion and none of it which could of been used was directed to the unemployment trust fund, which depending on whose figures you believe, is about 5 billion dollars in the hole,” Brady said.
He also says he is against a raise for lawmakers that is within the legislation.
“Businesses don’t even know if they can keep their doors open, some are closing because they can’t keep help, they can’t get help, and you show the sign of trying to support and strength of voting for a pay raise for yourself, it’s unconscionable,” Brady said.
Tuesday, Pritzker also pushed back on criticism that has been received from Republican lawmakers.
“Republicans like to bad mouth the state and yet they’re the ones that wanted to irresponsibly spend one time American Rescue Plan dollars to paper over our structural deficit,” he said.
“With 16 billion dollars in unexpected revenue, the state has more than enough income to pass a balanced budget that pays for the priorities of the people of Illinois. Instead we got a reckless budget plan that raises taxes on job creators at the worst time possible. The Democrats have come up with dozens more new pet projects and a billion dollars in additional pork. At a time when most Illinoisans have tightened their belt, the majority Democrats have instead shown their unquenchable desire to tax and spend.”Senator Jason Barickman, Bloomington-(R)