Illinois Senate kills Madigan budget

Illinois Senate kills Madigan budget

On May 31, the Illinois Senate rejected House Speaker Mike Madigan’s budget proposal, which was unbalanced by $7 billion.

The Illinois Senate rejected House Speaker Mike Madigan’s unbalanced budget plan May 31, just before the end of the spring legislative session.

Madigan’s plan would’ve spent more than $40 billion despite the state’s expectation of raising $32.6 billion in revenues in 2017, leaving a $7 billion hole.

The incomplete, unbalanced proposal had bipartisan opposition, with many of Madigan’s fellow Democrats in the Senate voting against the measure, which failed 17-31.

The speaker’s proposal ignored months of negotiations and working group meetings intended to reach a compromise between Democrats and the governor. Not only was Madigan’s deal not good enough for Gov. Bruce Rauner, who intended to veto the bill, it wasn’t good enough for the Senate, either.

Most government spending wasn’t even specifically appropriated in Madigan’s proposal. Instead the plan relied on continuing court orders – the same ones that have allowed state government to run for the past year without a budget – to pay ongoing costs. The speaker’s plan directly allocated just $14 billion of the total $40 billion it proposed to spend. The remaining $26 billion, which included items such as pension payments and debt service, would instead operate on autopilot. The plan also failed to include an appropriation to pay state workers.

Now after failed attempts to increase the state income tax, Madigan simply decided to create a proposal that spends $7 billion more than the state takes in, which would force a tax hike.

Unfortunately, Madigan’s been doing this for years. His latest maneuver is just the continuation of the last 15 years of his leadership. Illinois hasn’t had a balanced budget since 2001. And like the past decade and a half of unbalanced budgets, this proposal contained no financial reforms and no changes in spending priorities – just another deficit.

Any plan that doesn’t account for all spending and can’t pay for itself is simply too incomplete to be taken seriously.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Senate rejected Madigan’s spending plan.

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