Veto Session Ends With no Budget Agreement

Last Thursday was the General Assembly’s final scheduled day of our fall veto session, and I’m deeply disappointed that Speaker Madigan adjourned the House on Thursday with no agreement on a new budget.  As you know, our temporary budget expires at the end of the year, and as I write this the Speaker has not scheduled any additional session days before December 31st. That’s completely unacceptable.

Families, businesses and vendors in our area are counting on us to get a balanced budget in place so that they can begin to get paid on time for services they provide to the state and our residents. The good news is that the leaders have agreed to continue meeting every day this week to arrive at common ground on ways to make our State’s finances sustainable.  In the coming weeks, we  must keep the pressure up on the leaders and the Governor to ensure the final, difficult decisions are made.  Our time is running short to get this done.

Illinois House Approves Lame Duck Tax Increase Constitutional Amendment

Speaker Madigan has scheduled two “lame duck” session days in January for the 99th General Assembly before the new 100th General Assembly is sworn in on the 11th. To help prevent outgoing legislators from voting for a “lame duck” tax increase on their way out the door, the House last week approved a constitutional amendment that would increase the voting margin required to  increase an income tax rate or a sales tax rate during the so-called ‘lame duck” session.

The General Assembly, under current law, can enact “lame duck” tax hikes by simple majority in both houses.  If HJRCA 62 were to become law, the margin would increase to three-fifths – the same “supermajority” as is currently required to increase State general-obligation debt, approve amendments to the Constitution of Illinois, and approve amendments to the federal Constitution of the United States.   The House approved the recommended change on a bi-partisan vote of 84-18-2.  The Senate has not yet taken action.