Senate Committee debates Unbalanced Budget Response Act

On March 9, the Senate Executive Committee held a subject-matter hearing on the Unbalanced Budget Response Act (UBRA). Leader Christine Radogno made it clear in committee that UBRA was the less preferable of the two routes to a state budget laid out by Gov. Rauner in his budget address last month, emphasizing the need for compromise and bipartisan cooperation.

“As sponsor of the legislation, I urged my colleagues to take the Governor’s path of compromise to get Illinois back on track. But if not – we have to give the Governor the fiscal tools he needs to make spending and revenues balance,” said Radogno.

During the Feb. 17 budget address, Gov. Rauner laid out two paths to a balanced budget. “Path A,” the preferred option, requires legislators to come together in a bipartisan way to pass reforms and a balanced budget. “Path B” is what happens if Democrats continue to refuse to come to the table to negotiate reforms and a budget to move Illinois forward.

UBRA is part of “Path B,” and gives Gov. Rauner the authority to address the budget deficit in Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. Essentially, it provides tools needed to free up state funds to patch holes in the state budget.

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