SPRINGFIELD - While Illinois taxpayers are busy focused on meeting their job demands and making their small businesses' ends meet, Illinois lawmakers are in Springfield passing one budget after another - along party lines. Democrats are all on board for a state budget that reaches a predicted $38 billion for FY 2015, $4 billion higher that the grand total Republicans and Democrats agreed upon earlier this year.
House Speaker Mike Madigan's strategy is to shame lawmakers into choosing either a $4 billion budget deficit or a 2011 temporary tax hike becoming permanent.
Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs says the GOP will not support extending the income tax that is scheduled to roll back. And he says passing a budget without the revenue to support it is unconstitutional. "We must stop this reckless pattern of insane spending," Durkin said.
One by one, the budgets are passing and the Illinois Republican Caucus is keeping track of the mounting numbers on their Caucus blog. Follow along as you can - as of 1:30 PM CST Thursday, the passed budgets add up to $12,297,032,350. Follow the latest bill numbers and fund amount HERE
More budgets passed HERE.