The Latest: Illinois Senate takes no action on budget
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on a legislative session on Illinois’ budget as the state enters a third straight year without a spending plan (all times local):
The Illinois Senate has adjourned without taking action on House-approved legislation to break the nation’s longest budget standoff since the Great Depression.
The Legislature plans to return Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Chicago Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan has scheduled a meeting of the four legislative leaders for the same time. Republicans were no-shows at the one he had Monday afternoon with Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago.
The House voted overwhelmingly Sunday night for a $36 billion spending plan fueled by a $5 billion increase in income taxes. The plans are not dissimilar from ones the Senate OK’d in May. The Senate needs to concur in House changes.
Monday was the third day of the fiscal year. Illinois has been without a budget since 2015 because of disagreements with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The speaker of the Illinois House expects the Senate to endorse a plan to end the nation’s longest state-budget standoff and said he will work to override a promised veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Michael Madigan is a Chicago Democrat. He expects the Republican governor to attempt to change the minds of 15 House Republicans who joined a 72-vote supermajority Sunday night to approve the income tax hike. It would increase the personal tax rate 32 percent and bump state revenue up $5 billion a year.
Rauner says he will veto it because it doesn’t include “structural” changes he’s demanded during a two-year impasse that he says would boost business and relieve property-taxpayers. Madigan says his Democrats continue to negotiate with GOP members on those matters.
Chicago Democratic Senate President John Cullerton said he was uncertain how soon the Senate would take up the budget plan.
Another bond house has chimed in with a positive note on Illinois’ financial outlook.
S&P Global Ratings issued a notice Monday that a House vote to raise $5 billion through an income-tax increase “represents a meaningful step toward the enactment of a comprehensive budget.”
Illinois has been without a budget for two years. It has a $6.2 billion deficit and backlogged bills total $14.7 billion. The major credit agencies had warned of a downgrade to “junk” status without swift action.
S&P cautioned that even with a budget “it’s likely that Illinois’ finances would remain strained and vulnerable to unanticipated economic stresses.”
Fitch Ratings issued a similar notice Monday morning, a day after the House vote. But the measure’s fate remains unclear in the Senate, which is poised to take up the measure Monday.
Despite warnings of another downgrade to Illinois’ already worst-in-the-nation credit rating, one agency is citing “concrete progress” toward a budget impasse resolution after a flurry of weekend activity.
Fitch Ratings issued a statement Monday noting the steps legislators have taken, including a Sunday House vote to raise the income tax rate by 32 percent. It did not change the state’s rating, saying it will continue to “monitor the developments.” The Senate is poised to take up the measure Monday.
Illinois has entered a third straight fiscal year without a budget and its credit rating is one notch above “junk” status. The state is also carrying a $6.2 billion annual deficit and $14.7 billion in overdue bills.
Illinois lawmakers have been meeting at the Capitol for the last two weeks in an effort to end the gridlock between the Democrat-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Illinois lawmakers are back to work after a dramatic vote in the House to increase income taxes by 32 percent.
Attention turns Monday to the Senate, where lawmakers will consider the budget measures approved by the House a day earlier. The tax legislation increases the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to just under 5 percent. Corporations would pay 7 percent instead of 5.25 percent.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner already promised to veto it.
Also moving to the Senate is a $36 billion spending plan the House OK’d Sunday. It’s about $1 billion less than the spending outline the Senate passed in May.
The House turns its attention to other matters such as a Senate plan to borrow billions of dollars to pay down overdue bills.