We’re now three days past the budget deadline, on the brink of junk bond status and lawmakers still haven’t passed a budget, but Tuesday could be the day.
According to Senate President John Cullerton (D) the Senate will vote on spending plan, tax increase, and budget implementation bills tomorrow. Each passed through the House with bipartisan support.
Governor Rauner has already vowed to veto the tax hike bill that will increase income tax to 4.95% and climb to 7% for businesses. The hike will generate roughly $5 billion in additional state revenue.
The bill previously passed the Senate with 32 votes but without support from 5 Democrats and zero yes votes from Republicans. It will now take 36 votes to make it onto the governor’s desk. Senate GOP members say they will not vote on the hike without reforms.
“You got to have the reforms, you can’t just because without the reforms the budget doesn’t work and that’s a critical thing you can’t just pass any budget. You have to pass a truly balanced budget,” says Senator Chapin Rose (R- Champaign).
Both Cullerton and Madigan maintain they’re open to making reforms.
“Every issue brought before this special session by Governor Rauner and the Republicans we’re fully engaged today and will remain fully engaged on all of those issues with particularly workers compensation and freeze on real estate,” says Madigan.
Cullerton says Democrats would prefer to pass budget bills with bipartisan support but must get the job done before it’s too late. If the Governor does veto the tax hike bill. Madigan says he’s prepared to override the veto.
“We’re really close to a deadline here and I think everybody knows that so it’s almost the 4th of July so we had to do something the House has acted but we prefer to have Republican support that’s why we’re asked them to come back here,” says Cullerton.
Republicans were a no show at today’s leaders meeting but Cullerton says negotiations are still underway.
The next leaders meeting is set for tomorrow morning at 10am. Cullerton and Madigan are hopeful both Republican leaders will be in attendance.
Right now credit rating agencies are threatening a down grade if legislators do not pass a full budget soon.