Another bill that would fund human services including like Life Span passes Senate. Story from State Journal Register.
When will the budget crisis end???
The Illinois Senate on Wednesday approved a bill providing $3.9 billion in spending authority for human service programs, higher education and back wages for state workers.
The bill can now be sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has indicated he will veto it.
Rauner and Republican lawmakers have criticized the bill because it authorizes spending, but does not come with a revenue stream to pay for it. In a letter to state lawmakers this week, Rauner deputy chief of staff Richard Goldberg called it “another partisan spending bill filled with empty promises.”
“Rather than work together to find bipartisan solutions to fund higher education and human services, the majority stands ready to pass another phony budget that promises to spend money the state simply doesn’t have,” Goldberg wrote.
Democrats have argued that the spending authorized in the bill means the payments can be made when cash becomes available. Without the spending authority, the items in the bill could not be paid for even when cash is available, they argued.
The bill authorizes payments for a variety of human services programs that are not covered by consent decrees or other state laws that have kept large parts of state spending going even without a budget. The bill also covers operational money for universities and community colleges, as well as spending for college grants to needy students.
A last-minute addition was about $63 million in spending authority to pay back wages to thousands of state workers who were denied contractual pay raises in 2011. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that those workers could not be paid without an appropriation from the General Assembly.
“We are all very, very concerned with human services, and this bill does not fund these items,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont. “These people are entitled to money, but they still won’t receive it because there is no money.”
The bill was approved on a party-line vote of 38-17. That’s enough votes to override a veto by Rauner. But only 65 representatives voted for the bill in the House, leaving it short of the number needed for an override.
Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs have both introduced bills to direct $1.3 billion to human services providers. Their legislation is contingent on approval of changes to state pensions that the Rauner administration said would save the state about $780 million.
Rauner has said he would sign that bill because it has money attached to pay the expenses.
The Republican bills have not come up for consideration.
— Contact Doug Finke: email@example.com, 788-1527, twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.
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