Lawmakers spend Memorial Day in Springfield

Published 05/28 2012 09:18PM

Updated 05/28 2012 09:21PM

With the end of the Illinois legislative session just days away, lawmakers are spending their holiday in Springfield working to balance the state's budget.

Last week the Illinois House passed several major bills that will now be considered by the senate, which has mixed feelings to say the least.

The House approved 1.6-billion in Medicaid cuts last week.  They also approved another bill that would allow casinos in several Illinois cities including Rockford, as well as slot machines at racetracks, a bill that Governor Quinn has said he will likely veto.

The house also agreed to increase the tax on cigarettes by 1-dollar, a move that could raise 700-million for the state.

But some senators don't agree with the moves and unless changes are made many of these bills might not make it to the governor's desk.

"Cuts need to be made, and reforms have to be made, the ones that they are choosing over other ones, that certainly would not be my first choice," said senator Dave Syverson.

Syverson says increasing the cigarette tax will drive business out of the state.  He also says simply slashing Medicaid funds isn't the answer, he says there needs to be more reform such as people who collect Medicaid illegally removed from the system before cuts should be made.

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