No agreement on state budget

July 1, 2009 4:16:35 AM PDT
The midnight deadline for a new state budget has passed without an agreement.Protestors were out on Tuesday evening trying to send a message to lawmakers that the solution is not massive cuts to social services.

Governor Pat Quinn wants an income tax hike to fix the state's money problems and has threatened to veto any budget that is not balanced or provides money for key government services.

"We still have Democrats, we still have Republicans who simply are not willing to make the tough choice," said Rep. Ken Dunkin, (D) Chicago.

At eight o'clock Tuesday night, Ken Dunkin was the last state representative to leave the House, which was adjourned without even considering a tax increase bill.

"Because the votes are not there. Why call the vote when you know they're not there," said Rep. Monique Davis, (D) Chicago.

A sign that all was not well happened several hours earlier when Gov. Pat Quinn, who wants a tax increase to help fill the $9 billion budget deficit, addressed a joint session of the House and Senate. He did not shake the hands with either House Speaker Michael Madigan or Senate President John Cullerton before he questioned the maturity of Illinois lawmakers.

"We must not put off decisions to later in the summer or the fall or next winter. That's not what adults do," said Gov. Quinn.

Quinn's 'Hail Mary' speech did not impress Republicans who say Quinn's style is wearing thin.

"His approach has been to really, I think, attempt to scare the members of the General Assembly into a tax increase," said Rep. Tom Cross, (R) House minority leader.

"Unfortunately, either this governor really doesn't know how to do this. The governor is not really working with all of us. I haven't been called by the governor," said Sen. John Millner, (R) St. Charles.

The governor's most vocal support in Springfield remains union inspired demonstrators, hundreds of whom converged on the capital again Tuesday demanding the passage of a tax increase. In a late afternoon news conference, Quinn vowed again never to accept a spending plan that unfairly impacts social services programs.

"President Obama in his inaugural address called on all of us as Americans to put aside childish ways and to focus as adults on the challenges of our time," said Quinn.

The governor's veto announcement was expected to come sometime after midnight.

Regarding the plan to reduce the deficit by $2.3 billion by borrowing to pay off the state's pension obligation, that measure passed the House but failed the Senate. The deficit is still around $9.2 billion in Illinois.

The government won't shut down immediately. The government has fund to operate till July 15.

Charles has more on the political beat in his Precinct 7 Blog.


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