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Lawmakers Begin Crafting “Middle of the Road” Budget

Lawmakers Begin Crafting “Middle of the Road” Budget

Photo: Associated Press/Seth Perlman

Now that we know what people don’t want – raising taxes, cutting services – House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is narrowing to what could at least get enough votes to pass in the Illinois General Assembly.

The House last week soundly rejected a plan to cut services, but members also indicated they did not support an extension of the 5 percent income tax increase. The 5 percent figure, approved in 2011 with a four-year life, is set to roll back to 3.75 percent after Dec. 31, unless the General Assembly agrees otherwise.

The “middle-of-the-road” budget, Madigan says, accounts for $189 million in unexpected revenues.

“We’re going to work with interfund borrowing, we’re going to make adjustments in other revenue estimates in our spending plan,” he said, “and our goal is to adopt a 12-month budget that would be consistent with the revenue estimates that we’re working with for the next budget year.”

“Elementary and secondary education will be held flat,” said Madigan. “They will be appropriated at the same level as the current budget.”

The House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn Saturday. The budget would take effect for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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