Still no Illinois budget; experts say no cause for concern –

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCCU) — With the last scheduled day of the spring legislative session Friday, Illinois lawmakers still haven’t advanced a budget.

State representatives and senators met till late Friday night on the floor, but the elephant in the room was that there is still no budget to approve.

Experts say this is because Democrats are unable to agree on a budget, and Republicans say they have not been a part of the conversation.

“And here we are, yet today, we have missed the deadline that was set by the democratic majority to pass a budget,” said GOP budgeteer Norine Hammond (R) 94th District during a press conference.

Republican house representatives said they were not a part of the budget process, and now that the deadline has passed, they’re urging democratic leaders to let them help.

“I asked [House] speaker [Chris] Welch to not be afraid to use our knowledge and benefit from our talents,” said House Republican Leader Tony McCombie, (R) 89th District. “We are problem solvers. We want to govern, so I say it again, ‘don’t disregard our value.’”

Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, (D-Chicago) released a joint statement regarding the lack of budget:

“When we came to Springfield in January, we made it clear that our top priority was a fiscally responsible budget that prioritized hardworking Illinoisans. That continues to be true. Conversation is ongoing and negotiations are productive. We are committed to passing a good, balanced budget for the people of Illinois.”

But is the lack of budget cause for worry? University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) political science professor Brian Gaines says no.

“It’s not a crisis in state level. I think if you’re worrying about fiscal matters for the moment that federal politics really are justifiably overshadowing the state within the last 10 years. We had a long stretch of time with no budget and essentially demonstrated that it didn’t matter that basically the state could run on autopilot,” said Gaines, the W. Russell Arrington professor in state politics at UIUC.

Gaines also says that despite beliefs of a positive revenue year, the state’s economy has some concerns.

“For a while now, we’ve been hearing that basically the fiscal news is all good. Illinois’ had more revenue than expected and lots of people have said the revenue came in higher than projected. It’s not really correct. The state has lots and lots of essentially liabilities, obligations to pay the stretching in the future that are not funded. And so I think Illinois’ fiscal future remains cloudy.”

According to Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, there are democrats who are also unaware of what is in this year’s budget.

Both chambers will return next week Wednesday to finish the work for the spring session.


via “Illinois Politics” – Google News

May 20, 2023 at 12:14AM

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