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Another fiscal year ends with no budget


Lawmakers worked on Saturday, but GOP leaders said on Twitter late in the day that the Senate had finished its session and won't reconvene until Monday.

The clock continues to tick at the State Capitol as IL lawmakers try to end a budget crisis that would enter its third year at midnight if no compromise is made.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin seemed befuddled by the change of heart, issuing a statement that there is "no agreement on a comprehensive budget package" and urged leaders to keep negotiating. The state is starting its third straight fiscal year without a budget.

IL has a $6.2 billion annual deficit and $14.7 billion in unpaid bills. Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales have halted, and Illinois' credit rating could be downgraded to "junk".

The measure increased the monthly 911 telephone surcharge to $5 from $3.90 in Chicago and hiked the rate to $1.50 from 87 cents across the rest of the state.

If Illinois does not pass a budget, multiple issues could occur.

"I come to you today with great joy, not with regret or despair".




The logjam is the result of a political standoff between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, elected in 2015, and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who has held the office for more than three decades. "People in every corner of the state are watching what we do, to see if we get the job done", Harris said in presenting the plan on the House floor Friday.

The announcement by Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, came just a day after a harmonious House, tired of the two-year standoff with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, overwhelmingly approved a $36.5 billion spending plan on a preliminary vote. If lawmakers intend to spend $36.5 billion in fiscal 2018, nearly $5 billion in new revenue would be needed to make it balanced.

Rauner has demanded cost-cutting changes to workers' compensation laws, which he says are needed to lure businesses to IL.

Few places in IL have been hit harder by the financial mess than the capital city, where state bills owed to the city, hospitals and other vendors have topped $300 million, said Springfield Republican Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. He also wants a freeze on local property taxes, which are among the highest in the nation.

Still to be voted on is a final spending bill, a tax increase package and a possible bill to institute a temporary surcharge to help pay down a portion of the state's $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Social service agencies, contracted by the state to care for vulnerable populations, that have limped along without state funding will have to endure further strain; already many have laid off employees and reduced services.

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