Pulling no punches: Illinois awaits budget, by Ryan Voyles:
“For the third year in a row, the three men at the center of Illinois politics are circling inside the Capitol, and nobody is pulling punches. In one corner is Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and in the other are Democratic leaders Michael Madigan and John Cullerton. The goal: Pass a budget before the end of session on May 31. The past two years have seen lawmakers come up short, both sides throwing in the towel, as an untold number of Illinois residents suffer through the longest gap between budgets of any state in the country.” Story here
From the Responsible Budget Coalition
As the May 31 end of the legislative session approaches and the pressure to reach a budget agreement increases, the Senate took action on a number of Grand Bargain bills on Wednesday. Three of the Grand Bargain bills relate directly to the state budget. Senate Bill 6 contains FY18 appropriations, Senate Bill 42 is the budget implementation bill that makes the statutory changes needed to effectuate the budget, and Senate Bill 9 contains the increases in revenue needed to bring the budget into balance.
SB 6 passed, SB 42 failed and SB 9 was not called for a vote. SB 6 was held by the Senate since without passage of SB 9 the Senate budget would not be balanced. SB 6 includes a 5% cut to Medicaid and an across-the-board 5% cut to human services. It included the Autism Program, Best Buddies and Epilepsy grants but NOT LIFE SPAN! SB 42 gives the Governor emergency authority to achieve the Medicaid savings by overriding statutes that protect eligibility and services. SB 9 makes the individual and corporate income tax increases temporary (for seven years) instead of permanent. It is rather astounding that the Senate would choose to make the income tax increases temporary since the expiration of the last temporary tax increase is what has caused Illinois to accumulate $13 billion in unpaid bills.
The Senate Democrats have given the Senate Republicans until Tuesday to reach agreement on a Grand Bargain. After that the Senate Democrats will pass a budget with Democratic votes only and enter negotiations with the House Democrats to come up with a budget that Governor Rauner will surely veto.
We need your help to ensure that a budget is passed that includes all grant that support individuals and families. Call your legislators and say:
“Please pass a responsible budget that includes the Illinois Life Span Grant ($459,600), which has assisted tens of thousands of people seeking advocacy, assistance and guidance. This grant means that individuals with disabilities and families have help to access and navigate the many complex service systems and confusing funding sources needed to piece together their lives in the community. These programs have helped my family (me, people with disabilities, their families, and professionals). Please don’t cut these programs.”