SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on legislative action in Illinois to seal a budget deal on the eve of a new fiscal year (all times local):
The Illinois House has adjourned after endorsing a $36 billion state budget, though a final vote won’t come in time to prevent Illinois from starting its third consecutive fiscal year without a spending plan.
The fiscal morass is the longest in any state since at least the Great Depression. Since the last state budget expired two years ago, Illinois has rung up a $6.2 billion annual deficit and a $14.7 billion stack of past-due bills.
House members approved the latest proposal in a preliminary vote Friday before adjourning. It relies on more than $2 billion in spending cuts and a likely increase in the income tax to raise $5 billion.
Lawmakers will return to the Capitol on Saturday to keep working, including negotiating with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang says “meetings are taking place all over the building.”
A proposed $36 billion state budget in Illinois has passed a critical test. But a powerful legislative leader says lawmakers will miss a midnight deadline to avoid starting a third consecutive fiscal year without a budget.
The House voted 90-25 late Friday morning on a version of a yearlong spending plan. But the proposal was an amendment and would need another vote for final House approval.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said after the vote that lawmakers will miss the deadline for passing a budget before the new fiscal year begins Saturday. But he says lawmakers will continue working Saturday.
A missed deadline means an almost certain downgrade in Illinois’ creditworthiness to “junk” status. Madigan says he’s sending messages to the major bond-rating houses to give Illinois more time to secure a deal before a downgrade.
The proposed budget relies on more than $2 billion in spending cuts and a likely increase in the income tax to raise $5 billion.
Illinois lawmakers are entering the final day to settle a budget deal and avoid a potentially catastrophic failure.
Lawmakers have a lot of work to do Friday if they hope to meet a midnight deadline for completing the state’s first annual budget in two years.
House Democrats plan to vote on a $36.5 billion spending outline. They have said an income tax hike will fund it, but haven’t produced legislation.
Negotiations continue on issues unrelated to the budget that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner insists must be addressed before acceding to a budget. They include a four-year property tax freeze, cost-cutting pension-benefits changes and reforms to workers compensation.
The state has a $6 billion deficit and $15 billion in overdue bills. Credit agencies have threatened to downgrade Illinois debt to “junk.”
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