UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon, Governor Rauner (R-IL) threatened to extend the Special Session indefinitely if a budget agreement is not reached.
In a statement, the Governor said, “If the legislature fails to send a balanced budget package to my desk by Friday, we will have no choice but to keep them in session until they get the job done.”
That would not be without a cost, as the Special Session is costing taxpayers approximately $50,000 per day. However, the lack of a budget would have a far greater negative impact on state finances.
With less than three days before the state’s end-of-year fiscal deadline, the House remains divided on how to resolve the unprecedented budget impasse.
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) both agree the state should raise the flat income tax to nearly five percent and the corporate rate up to seven percent, but neither has presented their tax plan in bill form.
Durkin says that’s Madigan’s job. “I don’t run the chamber,” Durkin says. “I am not running this process. I am not included in participating in the budget which we will see in the next two days. [House Democrats] control it, so they will own the introduction of the tax bill — the Democrat tax legislation.”
Speaker Madigan disagrees. “A revenue bill will be a joint effort,” Madigan says. “It’s not going to be just one group of people. It’s going to be a joint effort.”
Any budget plan to pass the House will require at least four Republican votes.
House Democrats are calling votes Wednesday morning on a number of reforms Governor Rauner demanded as a condition to signing a budget. Republicans said the bills were watered down to weaken their effect.
The House will hold a Committee of the Whole meeting to debate the spending portion of the Madigan budget Wednesday afternoon. A vote on the spending bill could come as early as Thursday, but Republicans are demanding to see the coinciding tax bill so they can determine if the plan is balanced.