SPRINGFIELD — Illinois legislators are running out of time.
On Monday it’s Day 699 without a budget, and the Democratic-controlled House did not bring a budget plan to the floor.
The deadline for a budget is Wednesday at midnight, and it’s anybody’s guess what House Democrats will do. They could run the Senate’s budget plan, or they could bring their own plan to the floor for a vote.
Republicans lashed out during the legislature’s session on Monday.
“I’d like to see your budget bill that will be able to pay for this in a year,” said Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-Sycamore).
“The budget clock is ticking. This has nothing to do with the budget… Please vote no and let’s go back to doing a budget,” said Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard).
House Democrats are struggling to find consensus on a spending and tax plan. The Senate sent over a bill that would add $5 billion in new revenue, increasing the state’s personal income tax rate to 4.95%.
But Democrats have not reach consensus on how to proceed. His House divided, Speaker Madigan continues to blame Governor Rauner for the stalemate.
In a statement, Madigan said, “I renew my request that the governor immediately focus on working with House Democrats to find common ground and pass a budget for our state.”
Rauner’s administration says the budget is out of balance, and his budget director Scott Harry in a statement: “(T)he House is considering a broken budget contingent on a large tax hike without any meaningful property tax relief or job creating reforms….If this bad deal for taxpayers comes to the Governor’s desk, he will veto it.”
Also today, the House passed a measure Chicago officials want to crack down on repeat gun offenders.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson lobbied hard for for the measure. But several African American lawmakers were suspicious.
“When I think about solutions to gun violence what I’m looking for are solutions that actually will reduce the violence not something that we do based upon a knee jerk reaction,” said Rep. Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago).
On this Memorial Day, a group of vets from Chicago including 91-year-old Alfred Klinger made the trek to Springfield and put the budget battle into perspective.
“I am almost gave up my life in World War II,” Kinger said. “I swore to myself that I wanted to make this country better.”
The legislature also sent Governor Rauner an automatic voter registration bill, where Illinois residents would be automatically registered to vote when they visit a state agency.