The House Appropriations Human Services Committee will meet today to vote on
House Bill 6072, Amendment 1 which is similar to the Governor’s recommended budget.
This bill included the $1.00 per hour increase for Direct Service Professionals, Ligas
Compliance and important community grants including respite, dental, UIC Family
Clinic, TAP and Illinois Life Span. The Arc supports this bill about there is still a
question about the continuation of the income tax increase. We may see a vote on the
budget and the continuation of the income tax increase shortly or this could drag on
into the New Year after the elections. We still need you to be in touch with your
legislators to support this budget and the continuation of the income tax increase. Stay

Kimberly Evans, Arc/Family Support Network Staff, testified before the Senate
Education Committee on HB 5707, an anti-bullying bill. The bill passed the committee.
Here is Kimberly with our Sponsor Senator Heather Steans!

Today, the House State Government Committee will hear another Rep Meier
resolution HR 998 to keep the state institutions in Centralia open.

Should be another interesting day in the Capitol!

Keep up your good work.

Story on the budget below from the State Journal Register.


By Doug Fink
State Capitol Bureau

May 13. 2014 12:34PM

House prepares to push Quinn budget

Illinois House Democrats are preparing to take up a state spending plan that closely
resembles Gov. Pat Quinn’s “recommended” budget.

Illinois House Democrats are preparing to take up a state spending plan that closely
resembles Gov. Pat Quinn’s “recommended” budget despite indications the House
still lacks the votes to extend the temporary income tax increase.

House budget committees are scheduled to meet Wednesday to consider the
spending plan that avoids steep cuts to most state services, including what Quinn
called “savage” cuts that would be forced on education if lawmakers did not approve
making the tax increase permanent.

“I think it would certainly be the preference of most people I’ve talked to have the
recommended budget,” said Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, chairman of the Human
Services Appropriations Committee.

“The end game (Tuesday) is to finalize a budget which closely resembles what the
governor introduced,” said Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, chairman of the
General Services Appropriations Committee. “What’s going to happen (Wednesday)
in committees, we don’t know.”

Quinn proposed two spending plans when he gave his budget speech in March. One,
which he called his “recommended” budget, avoided most cuts to state programs
because it was based on the idea lawmakers would vote to make permanent the
temporary 67 percent income tax increase.

The other version, which he said was not recommended, imposed steep cuts to state
spending because a major part of the income tax increase will expire Jan. 1, midway
through the fiscal year. The personal income tax rate is scheduled to drop from the
current 5 percent to 3.75 percent. Estimates have put the revenue loss in next year’s
budget between $1.6 billion and $2 billion.

Dozens of amendments to bills were being filed Tuesday afternoon that incorporated
most of Quinn’s spending recommendations. All five House appropriations committees
are scheduled to meet Wednesday to consider the budget proposals.

However, there’s still no indication that the House can muster the votes to make the
income tax hike permanent, something needed to ensure the budget plan has enough
money. Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has said he thinks there are
enough votes in his chamber to make the tax hike permanent.

“This (budget plan) would imply we would need to find the necessary revenue to
support it,” Harris said.

Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, an opponent of extending the tax increase, said House
leadership has been polling members to gauge support for extending the tax.
“I don’t think they have the votes,” Franks said. “I’ve been doing my own polling and
talking to members. I think they’re short.”

Franks also said he doesn’t see how the budget plan “has any validity whatsoever”
since it is based on a tax extension that hasn’t been approved.

Cullerton spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said Senate Democrats will meet privately
Wednesday to discuss the budget developments and a possible schedule for voting on
a budget and the tax issue.

Appropriations committees in both the House and Senate have for weeks been hearing
from state agency directors about the dire cuts that will result if the tax hike isn’t made
permanent. Republicans have largely said the claims were exaggerated to build support
for continuing the higher taxes.

Harris, though, said the threat of cuts is real if revenue from the increase is lost.

“That would be a very bad situation for school districts who might see such drastic cuts
in their state support that you would see 40-50 kids in a class,” he said. “You could
potentially see seniors not getting their home-delivered meals. Nursing homes and other
providers who are already worried about late reimbursements wondering if they should
continue to extend the state credit. It would be a very bad situation.”

Harris and Crespo both said the House has to move on a budget because time is running
out on the spring session.

“We’ll move something forward and tweak it along the way,” Crespo said. “The clock is
really driving a lot of this now.”

Also Tuesday, the Civic Federation of Chicago criticized Quinn’s “recommended” budget
because it includes new spending while calling for the income tax hike to be made
permanent. The federation said Quinn was correct in calling for the tax to be made
permanent since the state could not withstand the loss in revenue. However, the money
needs to be used wisely, it said.

“The state’s fiscal crisis demands that any increased revenue be used to stabilize state
finances by significantly reducing its massive backlog of bills,” the federation said.

The organization was critical of Quinn’s plan to give each homeowner $500 to offset the
impact of property taxes. The plan would cost the state an additional $715 million next

The federation has recommended the full tax hike be extended for one year, then reduced
20 percent a year over three years. It also recommended the state income tax be extended
to retirement income to raise additional revenue.

Contact Doug Finke:, 788-1527,

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)