Senate Republicans keep focus on balanced budget for upcoming fiscal year

For the third consecutive year, the General Assembly has adjourned on May 31 without passing a comprehensive and balanced budget for the state of Illinois, despite Republican lawmakers repeated requests that their Democrat counterparts remain at the negotiating table to come to a budget compromise.

The General Assembly is expected to return to the Capitol in June with the goal to pass a budget prior to fiscal year-end on June 30. Prior to adjournment, Illinois Senate Democrats approved a $5.4 billion income tax hike and more than $37 billion in state government spending. In order for State Representatives to push that—or any—budget legislation through the House to the Governor’s desk, they will need a three-fifths majority vote—which will require members from both parties to get on board.

Senate Republicans did not support the budget plan, citing the lack of accompanying structural reforms, such as significant property tax relief, to offset the Democrats’ $5.4 billion tax increase on Illinois residents and employers.

While there have been talks of stopgap funding in lieu of a full-year budget, Governor Rauner has publicly expressed his desire to negotiate a full-year balanced budget proposal. Senate Republican lawmakers remain optimistic that the General Assembly can meet the June 30 fiscal year deadline.    

Chapin Rose

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