News

House Finishes Passing Budget Bills, Adjourns

House Finishes Passing Budget Bills, Adjourns

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) Photo: Associated Press/Seth Perlman

The Illinois House of Representatives has completed passing budget bills to form the basis of its roughly $37 billion budget, but not without debate and histrionics.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) argued that numbers being pushed by Democrats were arbitrary.

“You cannot make this stuff up. I hope people are watching – this is appalling, quite frankly. Appalling, it sickens me. Vote no on everything,” she urged the chamber.

The budget includes more money for schools, veterans’ homes and prisons.

It includes increases of $25 million for early childhood education and $54 million for public school transportation.

Increased staffing in veterans homes would cost $9 million.

Another $9 million would go to the Department of Corrections to re-open two closed juvenile facilities. The Murphysboro site would become a facility for adult drunk driving offenders. The former youth prison in Joliet would be transformed into a center for treating prisoners with severe mental health problems.

Many Republicans complained that the spending plan was being crafted before a solid revenue estimate had been made. That will depend on whether the income tax hike is allowed to continue, as the governor and other Democratic leaders have called for. Under current law, it’s set to sunset at the end of the year.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) responded to insults from Republicans.

“Your plan is to say, ‘OK, well here’s what we should do, we should have this slow-spending authority’ … education would be funded at 65 percent of the foundation level. It would decimate our schools,” he said.

The House passed a budget, with the bare minimum of votes needed on most bills. Now the Senate will have a say. The House is scheduled to come back into session at 3:30 p.m. Monday, the Senate at noon Monday.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Aldermen Want Public Input on Medical Marijuana Zoning Rules

municipalcenter

The public will likely get a chance to weigh in on potential zoning changes as medical marijuana rules take effect.

in Local

Rauner: Fight Over Term Limits is Not Over

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Rauner is publicly calling upon Illinois' appellate and Supreme Courts to approve a term limit referendum

in Local

Some Lawmakers Hopeful School Funding Bill Sees the Light of Day This Fall

manar school funding

Proposal would base funding on need, not student population

in Local

Possibly Armed Man Smashes Bus Window, Runs into West Side Hotel

police_lights

Springfield Police are investigating what they say was an "agitated man" on an SMTD bus.

in Local

Illinois Confirms First Human West Nile Case

mosquito

The state has its first human case of West Nile virus of the year.