Illinois House and Senate adjourn special session in under 10 minutes

Illinois House and Senate adjourn special session in under 10 minutes

The Illinois House of Representatives met for about seven minutes, and the Senate met for approximately 10 minutes on June 21 before adjourning from special session – costing Illinois taxpayers $50,000 for less than 20 minutes of work.

After convening June 21, the Illinois House of Representatives met for only seven minutes and 30 seconds before adjourning from special session for the day. The Senate met for about 10 minutes of special session.

June 21 marked the start of a 10-day special session Gov. Bruce Rauner called to urge state lawmakers to pass a budget.

Despite the fact that the special legislative session will cost taxpayers about $50,000 per day, according to an estimate by the Chicago Tribune, members of the Illinois House and Senate failed to advance budget negotiations. Instead, House members listened to a statement issued on behalf of Rauner detailing the purpose and goals of the special session. House Speaker Mike Madigan failed to show up on the floor as the Democratic majority convened, according to a report from WMAY radio.

Both sides of the aisle in Springfield claim to want a compromise on a budget to prevent Illinois from becoming the first state in the union with a junk credit rating. But Democrats and Republicans alike have proposed plans to raise taxes by more than $5 billion, which would increase the average Illinois household’s tax burden by more than $1,125 each year. But Illinoisans have expressed that they don’t want a budget that hikes taxes.

Nearly two-thirds of likely Illinois voters don’t want an income tax hike as part of the state budget, according to polling conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by the Illinois Policy Institute. More than three-quarters of respondents oppose hiking sales taxes. And nearly 80 percent agree “Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms before passing any tax increase.”

The Illinois Policy Institute has introduced a budget proposal that offers real reform without raising taxes. This kind of reform-minded, no-tax-hike proposal is in line with what Illinoisans want. Lawmakers should use that as a framework while taxpayers pay for their costly special session.

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