Illinois House approves temporary budget plan

Thursday, July 9, 2015
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- The Illinois House voted Thursday afternoon to approve a temporary budget plan that would fund the state until August 1.

Super-majority House Democrats passed the one-month budget bill, 71-19.

House leaders amended the Senate-approved bill by adding the salaries of all state employees to ensure that they get paid in July.

Also on Thursday, a Saint Clair County Judge ordered the Illinois Comptroller to fully pay state workers despite the budget impasse. That ruling counters a Cook County judge's decision on Tuesday that ordered the comptroller to pay only some workers who are covered under federal minimum wage laws.

Since the House amended the bill, it now goes back to the Senate, which will be back in session Tuesday and Wednesday.

If the Senate approves the bill, it will go to Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk. There is no guarantee that he will approve the temporary plan.

After the vote, Rauner's spokesman Lance Trover said: "Voting to spend money the state doesn't have is the cause of Illinois' financial crisis. Today, Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls irresponsibly voted for yet another unbalanced budget plan."

Rauner has 17 days to sign or veto the measure. If he doesn't do anything, state employee salaries and program funding would be in jeopardy.

"Perhaps the concern is going to be that this is wrapped up with all sorts of other measures," said State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago. "Well, God forbid we should vote on spending a little money on human services while we're down here. God forbid we should vote on 30 days of funding for people with disabilities and people with mental illness and children who are sick.

Republicans wanted a separate bill that would only address salaries for the fiscal year, while Democrats wanted a comprehensive measure that would cover all government expenses, including those for social programs. Republicans voted against Thursday's approved budget plan and likened it to kicking the can down the road month-to-month.

"If you vote for this amendment, it's going to land on a bill that the governor is going to veto, which means you are keeping state employee pay in limbo," said State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville.

Earlier Thursday, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced that state workers who are likely to miss paychecks during the ongoing budget standoff will be able to get interest-free loans to help pay their bills.