Illinois House adjourns without new state budget deal

ByABC7 Team Coverage WLS logo
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Illinois House adjourns without new state budget deal
Six hours before the midnight deadline, the Illinois House adjourned without a budget deal to avoid cuts in state services.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Six hours before the midnight deadline, the Illinois House adjourned Tuesday afternoon without a budget deal to avoid any cuts in state services.

They have been at a stalemate for weeks over a spending plan for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins Wednesday.

The Illinois House is now considering a temporary budget fix. House Speaker Michael Madigan proposed a $2.2 billion plan would keep core state services going through July.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed and frustrated with the General Assembly. We could and should resolve these issues on a prompt basis. This has dragged on for a while," Gov. Rauner said.

The Governor's team turned their nose up at a Hail Mary thrown by Madigan: a plan that would fund core services for one month. If Rauner agrees, he may lose leverage on a property tax freeze, budget cuts and other reforms.

"Let's get to work on the number one problem facing Illinois: the budget deficit. Let's not function in the extreme, let's function in moderation and make sure everyone is reasonable during this," Madigan said.

ABC7's Ben Bradley asks: "What did you accomplish today?"

"Zero. Absolutely nothing accomplished," said State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-House Minority Leader. "When you send a budget $4 billion out of balance, this is what happens."

"We're talking about providing services for the people of the State of Illinois. Why should that be leveraged against anything other than providing those services?" said State Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest.

The budget director for Gov. Bruce Rauner told lawmakers that labeling what will happen without a deal a "government shutdown" is simply a scare tactic.

Lawmakers will vote Wednesday on the one-month $2.2 billion budget to fund core services, and it is expected to pass. If so, Gov. Rauner is expected to veto the one-month budget. A Rauner spokesperson said Tuesday that the governor doesn't think one-month Band-Aid budgets are any way to govern.


The state has contracts with hundreds of non-profits who provide services and programs for thousands of Illinois residents. Without state money, many of the organizations would have to shut down, or at the very least, cut staff and services.

Protesters are worried that some of the state's most vulnerable residents will bear the brunt of this budget crisis and they are voicing their concerns throughout Illinois. In Waukegan, people prayed for action with a message aimed at Springfield.

"If they are not here for us, will we be there for them? No," said Faith Arnold, a child care provider.

Health care and child care providers are likely among the first to be impacted by the budget stalemate.

The money they get from state contracts to provide services for those in need will begin to dry up on Wednesday.

"This is going to affect thousands of families in the whole state," said Martina Rocha, a home child care provider.

Some state services won't change at midnight. State parks will remain open, as will driver's license facilities. State police will also continue their work and retiree pensions will still be paid, but subsidies for various human services are now in jeopardy.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago said 75 percent of the children in its summer day care rely on state money to participate in the program.

"It will impact whether or not parents can work. It will impact whether or not kids are home by themselves," said Fran Bell, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

Alantris Muhammad provides full-time home care for a patient with traumatic brain injury. She said she'll continue to do so, even if the state doesn't pay her.

"This is how I provide for my family. This is how I pay my mortgage, my car note, my insurance," Muhammad said.

Over 300 social service agencies have sent a letter to Gov. Rauner and the leadership in Springfield urging them to come to an agreement. Non-profits and state workers plan to hold a rally at the Thompson Center beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Stay with ABC7 Eyewitness News and for continuing coverage of the budget crisis.

Related Topics