In the final hours of the scheduled spring session, the Senate considered a wildly unbalanced and bloated state budget approved by House Democrats a week earlier. Senate Bill 2048 originally was passed by the Senate on May 5 as a bipartisan higher education funding plan, but it was altered in the House to include an entire state budget plan. The House Democrat proposal was $7.5 billion out of balance and would spend $40 billion. It would be the largest and most expensive state budget in Illinois history. It also would have imposed a massive tax hike on every Illinois family.
Ultimately, common sense prevailed in the Senate, as Senate Bill 2048 received only 17 Senate votes in support, far less than the 30 required for approval. While most of the “no” votes came from Republicans, Senate Republicans offered realistic budget alternatives to ensure that K-12 schools open on time this fall and basic government operations remain open.