Despite Senate OKing one-month budget, Illinois no closer to a balanced budget

Despite Senate OKing one-month budget, Illinois no closer to a balanced budget

Temporary, unbalanced budget now moves to the governor’s desk for approval – Rauner has said he will veto the measure.

On July 15, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 2040, the one-month budget the Illinois House passed on July 9. The temporary, unbalanced budget now moves to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk for approval. SB 2040, a $2.2 billion appropriations bill designed to give the Illinois General Assembly more time to negotiate a full budget for fiscal year 2016, returned to the Senate after the House of Representatives amended the bill to include an appropriation for state employees’ pay. The bill passed as amended with a supermajority of 39 Democrats voting for it. No Republicans voted yes, maintaining their argument that the temporary budget is unconstitutional and dodges the real task of putting together a full-year budget.

Rauner has already stated that he will not sign SB 2040, even though he has said he would do everything within his power to get state workers their paychecks.

Moving forward, the governor faces several options. He may veto the entire bill, or he may use a line-item veto to discard only the budget portion of the bill, keeping the workers’ salary amendment and thus ensuring state employees get paid while lawmakers continue to negotiate a full-year budget. The governor may also choose not to act on the bill immediately, allowing SB 2040 to expire on Aug. 1 according to an automatic repeal provision in the bill.

Even if Rauner chooses to sign SB 2040 into law, Springfield’s budget crisis is far from over. With the temporary budget only applicable through the month of July, the General Assembly still faces the grueling task of coming to an agreement on a permanent budget for the year ahead.

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