Assembly overrides Rauner’s pension veto as budget deadline looms

Illinois Budget
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Tonight, lawmakers in Springfield are bracing for the worst.  They do not believe a budget deal will be reached by tomorrow at midnight.

“We’ve scheduled ourselves to be here every Wednesday through June starting next week,” Speaker Mike Madigan said.

If there is no breakthrough tomorrow, passing a budget becomes even harder. Any business after tomorrow would require three-fifths majorities in both houses.

“Every single day that we don’t have a budget it costs taxpayers $13 million,” said Christine Rodogno.

And there could be even more pain.

K-12 school funding has not been approved.  Some fear that schools will not have the money to open in the fall.  The funding was included in House Speaker Madigan’s spending plan which passed the House last week.

Today, the Democratic leader of the Senate John Cullerton said his chamber will take it up.

But Governor Rauner says he will not sign the Democratic plan because its $7 billion short.

Also, today the General Assembly dealt a big blow to Governor Rauner. Lawmakers voted to override his veto of bill to provide Chicago with police and fire pension relief.

In the House, three Republicans joined Democrats to overturn the veto.

In the end, there were 72 yes votes, one more than was needed.

The bill will provide short-term relief by reducing how much Chicago taxpayers contribute to retirement funds. But the city’s pension debt will continue to grow.

In a statement Mayor Emanuel said: “On Memorial Day I particularly want to thank the Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly for putting politics aside and doing the right thing for Chicago taxpayers, and for our first responders.”

The mayor’s office said Emanuel personally called at least two dozen lawmakers to push the override.

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