Budget approval waiting for governor

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com

Published 06/02 2014 01:37PM

Updated 06/02 2014 01:42PM

ILLINOIS -- A new budget is approved and ready for Governor Quinn to sign. The Senate gave final approval of a $35.7 billion spending plan Friday. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibb keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

"It's not a budget I would have preferred but it is a necessary budget."

The third time is the charm. The Illinois Senate has approved a budget with the hopes of keeping state agencies afloat in fiscal year 2015. It's a budget some lawmakers say is incomplete.

"It is an incomplete budget, yes, and I think we have to come back and have to address this, certainly for the FY-16 budget."

State Senator Andy Manar (D) is no stranger in advocating for equity in education, but he says he couldn't support all the budget bills.

"I oppose the education spending bill because, even though it devotes more money, slightly more money to general state aid for schools, which is a good thing, it doesn't address the equity concerns."

Senate Sam McCann (R) says he was too divided on some of the proposals.

"I voted no on probably the majority of the budget bills. But, I did vote yes on a few of them. I voted yes to fully fund pensions."

The real argument amongst Republicans and Democrats Friday was, once again, bipartisanship. Republicans say their ideas were tossed out.

"Almost 50 bills, 50 sponsored by Senators on the Republican side, with regards to how we spend our money, not one of those, not one of those were allowed for a vote on the Senate floor."

Democrats say those amendments weren't good enough.

"What they introduced as amendments were how to rearrange some of their priorities. They were not amendments talking about revenue increases."

Governor Pat Quinn released a statement:

        The General Assembly didn't get the job done on the budget. Instead, the
        General Assembly sent me an incomplete budget that does not pay down the
        bills, but instead postpones the tough decisions.
Lawmakers say the budget is expected to add $2 billion to the state's backlog of unpaid bills.

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