Budget deadline looming

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com

Published 05/26 2014 06:39PM

Updated 05/27 2014 11:54AM

ILLINOIS -- The clock is ticking. This is the final week lawmakers have to pass a budget or massive cuts would take effect. Democrats are meeting this week to make sure a bill is put on the table and passes. Some expect a vote as early as Wednesday. If lawmakers can't reach a budget extending the five percent income tax, people can expect billions in lost revenue.

Steve Brown is the spokesperson for House Speaker Mike Madigan (D).

He said, "As you know, the effort to get the temporary income tax was not successful. We will have to do some adjustments within the available revenue."

Two budget proposals have already been rejected by House leaders this month. Madigan says he is working tirelessly to get a bill passed before Saturday.

"Get a spending plan that is acceptable to the House and the Senate and sign it into law by the Governor," said Brown.

The Democratic Caucus is already discussing proposals.

"The state budget meets the revenue available to try to do minimum damage to programs and services the people are hoping will be funded in the coming years," said Brown.

Brown also says Democrats are doing the best they can but they need the assistance from Republicans.

"There was a lot of reluctance by, of course, Republicans. They were doing nothing. That's their game-plan for the entire session. Do nothing, complain, don't offer any legislation that would repeal programs and services that the law requires be funded."

Representative Raymond Poe (R) agrees. He said the budget discussions should be a bipartisan effort.

"The worst part about it is they want your vote on the budget, but they don't want to include you where the spending is and where maybe we need some cuts, so we need to be part of the whole process."

Poe says he's confident House members will pass a budget soon.

"I think now they're planning something that will go forward and maybe they can pass it."

Lawmakers are going to need a super-majority to pass the budget. The deadline is Saturday.

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