Ill. Gov. Quinn vetoes budget plan

July 2, 2009 4:30:13 AM PDT
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn followed through with his threat to veto the bare-bones budget sent to him this week by the legislature.The governor's action comes on the first day of the state's new fiscal year and means Illinois has no spending plan in place.

In response to the governor's veto, legislative leaders are calling for a special session on July 14.

"We will not relax in our battle to have a balanced budget for the land of Lincoln," said Gov. Pat Quinn.

Despite his failures during the past two days, the governor sounded as determined as ever. Minutes earlier, he made a show signing the veto of a General Assembly-passed bill that would have cut human services sector grants by 50 percent.

"There are many people in our state who depend on state services in a variety of different ways, and this budget did not properly fund those services," said Quinn.

The governor acknowledged that on Tuesday night he urged enough senators to block passage of a House approved bill authorizing a loan to pay the state's pension obligation that in effect would free up $2.2 billion additional for human services. Quinn called the transaction "out of order" because lawmakers still had not dealt with his income tax increase.

"I would hope he would not move toward a creation of a crisis," said State Rep. Michael Madigan, (D) House speaker.

House Speaker Michael Madigan -- who continues to insist there is not support for a tax increase in his chamber -- said the vetoed bill set spending at levels at or near the reduced amount of money the state expects to generate at current tax rates during the economic downturn. And in calling for a veto override vote by his members on July 14, he criticized Governor Quinn for changing his position on issues, including the pension note plan.

"I think that the governor's flip-flops have not helped in this effort to provide a working, operating budget," said Madigan.

How long can state government run without a budget? The governor claims that employees will not be affected. He says their paychecks should cash during the next few weeks but State Controller Dan Hynes will certainly have to weigh in on that issue shortly. The governor said vendors who do business with the state of Illinois between now and whenever a budget is finally approved are doing so at their own risk. There cannot be an agreement to pay those vendors until there is a budget.

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


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