State Senate passes tax hike bill, despite Rauner’s veto threat

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A vote in Springfield today could signal an end to the state's budget impasse, the nation's longest budget standoff since the Great Depression.

The Illinois State Senate passed the tax hike bill, House budget Implementation plan and the House spending plan Tuesday on the 4th of July.

The tax bill passed with 36 Democrat votes for a balanced budget and the spending plan passed with 39.  The implementation bill needed 36 votes to pass and it did with just enough.

It's all in the hands of Governor Bruce Rauner now, people are saying in Springfield. Rauner has promised to veto the tax portion of the budget.

The House is scheduled to meet around 4 p.m. Tuesday.  It is not clear if the Speaker will override the governor's veto.

The Senate moved quickly to pass the three bills making up the budget package. They include personal and corporate tax increases, borrowing a $1 billion to pay down the $15 billion unpaid bills, and funding for roads, schools and prisons. Each of the bills needed 36 votes to pass.

The Democrats needed one Republican to push through the tax plan, which they got. But the Senate Republican leader expressed that he and most of his GOP colleagues would not be voting on the budget package.

One of the big reasons why many GOP lawmakers did not support this budget package is because it lacked the reforms the Republicans and governor asked for, including property-tax freeze and workers' compensation reforms.

Monday, leaders on the Democratic side said they were still willing to talk with Republican counterparts on the reforms.

Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan called legislation leaders to a 10 a.m. session Tuesday. Republicans were no-shows at the one he had Monday afternoon with Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago . Republican House Leader Jim Durkin did not attend Tuesday's meeting either.

There is a looming deadline on the budget decision, businesses open Wednesday and credit agencies could downgrade the Illinois credit rating to junk status if they believe the budget process is not moving quickly enough.



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