Senate rushes votes on budget bills
On Independence Day, the Senate approved three bills that would increase taxes and provide $36 billion in spending for Illinois.
Newly selected Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) said the collection of bills was not yet ready for a vote and there is still much work to be done on them.
“It’s regrettable that I stand today not capable of supporting this package,” Brady said. “Not necessarily because what’s in the package is bad but because it is incomplete. We need a comprehensive solution for this state. We’ve negotiated in good faith on a comprehensive solution and I regret to say that we have not come to a conclusion for that comprehensive solution.”
While Illinois has gone more than two years without a budget, Brady still argued for a no vote and urged lawmakers to go back to the table to negotiate reforms and provide relief to the taxpayers.
“We need to address the issue of property taxes; the burden they placed on your constituents and mine; the burden they placed on businesses,” Brady said.” We need to still address workplace reforms that will not only bring jobs but keep job in Illinois. We need to address consolidation and we need to address school reforms as indicated in this package of bills. I regret that I can’t support a comprehensive package today and I hope and trust, based on conversations I’ve had with members on both sides of the aisle, that we will be able come together to complete our work.”
The senate voted on Senate Bills 6, 9 and 42.
SB9 is a revenue bill that would collect $5.4 billion from permanent tax increases. Income tax rates would go up to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and corporate tax rates would also increase to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. In total, the bill would increase income tax by 32 percent. It passed 36-18.
SB6 would provide more than $36 billion in funding to the state. It passed 39-14.
SB42 is the "paperwork" bill that would begin implementing the budget, diverting the necessary funds to the programs and services in the state.
There was little to no debate on the bills as the Senate rushed on a vote.
Four Republicans supported SB 6: Sens. Neil Anderson (R-Rock Island), Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg), William “Sam” McCann (R-Carlinville ) and Dale Righter (R-Mattoon). Only Righter voted for SB9, citing that his district needs a balanced budget and “in the end, you vote your district.”
The bills now await a signature or a veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner. If signed, the bills would be in effect immediately.