State budget impasse continues as legislative session nears end

Sarah Schulte Image
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
State budget impasse continues
Gov. Bruce Rauner said that he would likely not sign a budget proposal passed by the state Senate this week.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner said he would likely not sign a budget deal that was approved this week by Senate Democrats which included a tax increase.

As the back-and-forth continues between Rauner and the Democrats, time is ticking in Springfield - the legislative session ends in one week.

If lawmakers go home without a budget deal, the state budget impasse will continue for a third year - costing the state billions of dollars.

A group of nonpartisan groups came together Wednesday to send a message to the governor and state lawmakers - pass a budget.

"We don't want you to come to our events. We don't want you to come home without it. If you were elected to be a leader in Springfield, please stay there to do your job and come home with a comprehensive balanced budget," said Mary Sue Barrett, of the Metropolitan Planning Council.

In a risky political move, state Senate Democrats passed a bill hiking the income tax rate and expanding the sales tax to include services such as tattoo and piercings.

Gov. Rauner posted a Facebook message slamming the plan and warning lawmakers that a budget with tax hikes must include reforms.

"Let me be clear, to get my signature, any agreement must include real property tax relief," Rauner said.

However, both Democrats and the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, said a property tax freeze could hurt schools districts that rely on that money.

"If property taxes are going to be included in a property tax freeze is going to be included, it needs to matched up with real evidence of how the schools will continue to operate and open if they are subjected to a hard freeze," said Laurence Msall, of the Civic Federation.

On Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel echoed the call to pass a balanced budget, aiming his frustration at the governor.

"At this point, every governor in the state of Illinois' history and every governor in the United States of America has introduced a budget over the last three years but one. The executive branch much execute leadership," Emanuel said.