Where We Stand After Lawmakers Miss Deadline


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The legislature adjourned for the weekend without passing a new budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year, blowing their self-imposed adjournment deadline and assuring lawmakers will return to Springfield next week.

House Speaker Chris Welch and Senate President Don Harmon issued a joint statement late Friday confirming plans to return next week:

“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.”

The leaders confirmed the Senate is scheduled to return Wednesday and Thursday. The House is scheduled to return Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Remember, a budget is still not a done deal. The state is bringing in around $50.7 billion in the current fiscal year, and new projections show revenue dropping by more than $300 million next year. Add the explosion in expected costs in the undocumented immigrant health care program (which Dems want to expand), to the free college/free child care/free pre-k proposed by the governor to the laundry list of asks by progressives in the legislature and there’s a heck of a lot more than $50.4 billion on the potential spending side.

Who is going to say “no?” That’s the biggest question.

It appears Don Harmon is positioning himself to be that guy, but there are progressives in his chamber, like Sen. Robert Peters (D-Chicago) and Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago), both allies (and in the case of CPZ, future employee) of new Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson that have a lot of sway in the chamber.

House Democrats have been told they’re expecting a negotiated, agreed budget. We’ll see how they’re going to be able to make that happen.

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May 22, 2023 at 08:49AM

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