Illinois House Democrats pass temporary budget, Senate must concur, Rauner says he won’t sign
Even if Senate Bill 2040 passes into law, it only buys the General Assembly a couple of weeks.
The 71 Democrats that make up a supermajority in the Illinois House of Representatives passed an unbalanced, one-month budget on July 9. This was the first time all 71 were in attendance this summer.
Senate Bill 2040 is a $2.2 billion appropriation bill that is intended to buy state lawmakers more time to negotiate on a full year’s budget while keeping essential services running until Aug. 1, which will mark one month past the original fiscal year 2016 budget deadline. No Republicans voted for the bill, and Gov. Bruce Rauner has already announced he will not sign it.
So now what?
SB 2040 originated in the Illinois Senate, but the version passed by the House on July 9 was amended to authorize state employees’ pay. That means the amended bill must go back to the Senate for a “concurrence” vote before it can be handed over to the governor’s office to be signed into law. The Senate is not due to meet until the week of July 12. Even if the Senate votes to move this bill forward and present it to the governor, that may not be the end of the line.
Rauner could veto the entire bill or he could use a line-item veto to keep the salary amendment, ensuring workers get paid, and simply veto the one-month-budget portion of the bill. Either way, if the Democrats are really serious about passing a one-month budget, all House Democrats and three-fifths of the Senate will have to show up in Springfield for a vote once again. By the time all of that plays out, lawmakers will be approaching Aug. 1, which is when the bill automatically repeals itself.
Another possibility is that Rauner could choose not to act until August. Once the General Assembly sends the governor a bill, he has 60 days to either sign or veto the legislation. If Rauner decides not to act, the bill will hit its repeal date and no longer be a funding option.
So the show continues, and it’s a lot of time to spend on a temporary budget when the state ultimately needs a full year of appropriations. Even if SB 2040 passes into law, it only buys the General Assembly a couple of weeks – and there’s a lot more work left to do.