IL Democrats proposing budget with $3 billion worth of debt

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announces budget proposal

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(SPRINGFIELD, ILL) Illinois lawmakers have a week to pass a new state budget, but the democrats’ plan could be a non-starter.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says democrats are ready to pass a $36.3 billion spending plan, but he admits the state doesn’t have the money.

“Democrats in the legislature, both the House and the Senate, will offer a spending plan that’s consistent with our view of what the state of Illinois should do for Illinoisans who need the government to be helpful to them,” Madigan said. “We will publicly acknowledge that we don’t have the money to pay for this budget.”

That budget is at least $3 billion short.

Madigan says he would work with Governor Bruce Rauner to find new money.

Rauner has said he won’t support raising taxes until lawmakers pass his so-called “Turnaround Agenda.”

That agenda includes proposals dealing with workers’ compensation, lawsuit limits, a property tax freeze, and term limits.

“I’m not going to say that the gentleman went wrong. I’m not going to say that, all right? He has his views on what should be done in the government, and others in the legislature have different views. That’s just the way it is,” Madigan said. “What he’s attempting to do is mix apples and oranges, he’s attempting to bring these non-budget issues into budget-making, that’s where we have a completely serious difference of opinion between he and I and others in the legislature.”

The governor’s office offered no support for Madigan’s plan.

“(Democrats) appear ready to end the regular session with yet another broken budget or massive tax hike — and no structural reforms,” Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said. “The speaker and his allies in the legislature are sorely mistaken if they believe the people of Illinois will accept doubling down on a broken system that has failed Illinois over the last dozen years.”

More pieces of the budget proposal could get released Tuesday.

They include spending $50 million less on universities and colleges.

But that money gets moved over to corrections and police budget to cover higher payroll expenses.

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