Still no budget as IL legislative session comes to a close

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KSDK) - The deadline for passing a state budget was 12:01 AM Wednesday, but by early evening, lawmakers said they already knew it would not be happening. Democratic lawmakers, republican lawmakers, and Gov. Bruce Rauner expressed their disappointment.

"There's not going to be a budget voted on today, discussed today, and that is so upsetting because we've known this is the target," State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) said. "For 22 months we've gone without a budget."

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) says there's no budget this time because Rauner apparently made it clear he wasn't going to sign the bill. Hoffman says, as a result, Democrats did not vote.

"I'm disappointed," Hoffman said. "This has been 700 days since the governor has been in office and it's 700 days without a budget."

Rauner blames the Democrats. He says their inability to come up with a balanced budget reflects a failure to serve the people of Illinois.

"They do not like to have balanced budgets, but we've got to live within our means," Rauner said. "It's not fair to our children and grandchildren."

Although the legislative session would end Wednesday night, there is still some time to pass a budget. June 30, 2017, is the deadline. If that doesn't happen, certain services could suffer.

"Senior programs are going to be jeopardized, corrections activities are going to be jeopardized," Hoffman said.

Herb Simmons, the executive director of St. Clair County 911, says public safety would also be jeopardized, with 911 centers shutting down across the state.

"It's really a no-brainer," Simmons said. "We can talk about the budget. School, education, health care, but 911 ranks right up there at the top because you never know when you're going to need it."

"We have to, have to, have to work on a budget," Bourne said.

It will now take a supermajority to pass a budget, meaning 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate would be needed.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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