The speaker of the Illinois House has scheduled a vote for Thursday to override the governor's veto of the budget package.
If passed, the package would end the fiscal stalemate that has persisted for two years. That's the longest any state has gone without a budget since at least the Great Depression.
Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday that he anticipates working with Republicans “to begin healing the wounds of the last several years.”
The $36 billion spending plan would be financed with a $5 billion income tax increase. A House vote to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto would put the plan into effect.
Reaction from Brady, Barickman
Sixteen Republicans broke with Rauner to get the budget passed. Bloomington-Normal’s Republican state senators, Bill Brady and Jason Barickman, were not among them. They voted against the tax and spending plans.
Brady, the new Senate minority leader, told GLT that leaders from both sides were making progress on a bipartisan deal as late as Friday night. The package that ultimately passed the House and Senate—with a permanent income tax hike—didn’t include the property tax relief or business measures that Republicans sought.
Brady’s message to voters who just want a budget—any budget—is that leaders were “very close” to a real compromise. “All of a sudden, Speaker Madigan decided to change course,” Brady said, calling the package “incomplete.”
Even if the House overrides Rauner’s veto, Republicans will still pursue items on their wish list.
“We'll need to address some of the egregious issues in this budget, like the permanent nature of the income tax increase, the lack of property tax relief, and the other outstanding issues that our state needs,” Brady said.
Barickman said in a statement that “we need bipartisan solutions, not more of the same failed ideas and policies that got us here.”
“It’s extremely disappointing that after all the progress we have made in negotiations, Democrats would simply ram through an unbalanced budget that doesn’t offer any fixes or reforms for the systemic issues that continue to plague Illinois,” said Barickman. “This budget does little to nothing to pay down the massive bill backlog nor will it stop the constant exodus of people and jobs from our state.”
On Wednesday, Barickman criticized one part of the budget package that he—and Rauner—says will hold K-12 school funding across Illinois “hostage to force a bailout of Chicago Public Schools.” He called that part of the budget package related to the school funding formula a “booby-trap” and political “chicanery.”
“That’s a Madigan trick,” Barickman told GLT. “It puts our school districts in a pickle.”
Listen to Barickman's full interview on GLT's Sound Ideas on Thursday.
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Illinois Public Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.