UPDATE x1: Senate also passes the agreed upon stopgap budget bill. “Today’s actions in Springfield are proof that legislators can come together and create affordable and responsible solutions,” said Sen. Dan McConchie said. “I am glad to see that the political games were finally set aside so progress could be made.” (more below)
UPDATE x2: The four House members who voted no and statements from them are included below.
SPRINGFIELD - Schools will get paid, children will go to school, the most vulnerable and seniors will get services and prisons will stay open after an agreed-upon stopgap budget measure passed the Illinois legislature Thursday, the last day of Fiscal Year 2016.
As the House discussion on four stopgap budget measures wound down in Springfield Thursday, a member from each side of the partisan aisle emphasized that while funding would continue into the new fiscal year starting Friday, that nothing had been done to correct Illinois' serious underlying financial issues.
State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) said he still could not support SB 2047, the stopgap budget both sides agreed to pass before the November election.
"I know I'm in the minority on this vote and this is going to pass, but I think the people of Illinois deserve better than this," Franks said. "Nothing we're doing will fix the financial problems of this state. Our financial situation will deteriorate because of what this bill does. We need to pass a balanced budget."
Franks went on before being one of four that opposed the agreed upon stop gap measure.
"Neither side wants to face the voters and tell the truth about lack of addressing pensions or school funding.
"Neither side wants to tell the voters that after the election will be a massive tax increase on income taxes," and a list of various other expected fee and tax hikes, he said. "Our property taxes will certainly increase. What we should be doing is changing the antiquated tax code. We should be stopping court orders that we can't afford."
Three Republican House members - Jeanne Ives, David McSweeney and Tom Morrison also voted "no" on the bill. SB 2047 will now go to unanimously passed the Senate, where it is sure to pass, and then on to the Governor.
x2 Update - McSweeney told Illinois Review:
I voted against the stopgap funding bill because it will worsen our fiscal problems and increase the likelihood of a massive income tax increase in January. The bill is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. As Legislators, we should do our job and pass a permanent balanced budget. We should be reforming pensions and Medicaid, not setting up a massive tax increase that will kill Illinois jobs and hurt families.
While the stopgap budget is short term, it does not include consent decrees and court orders because they are not optional. Leader Barbara Currie assured the House members that lawyers would be going to court to assure the decrees and orders forcing payments will continue.
Republican State Rep. David Harris of Mt. Prospect said he would vote in support of the bill despite its shortcomings, but that he was not happy with how the process has proceeded.
"The people of Illinois want us to work on a budget. There have been bitter insults and words between the leaders and the governor. After a long year, the importance of this funding cannot be overstated, this bill appropriates federal funds coming into the state," Harris said.
"Let us be clear - let us not go back and tell our constituents we have passed a budget - we have not," he said. "We passed appropriations on one part of the budget. All we are doing is concentrating on the expenditures. We have not dealt with revenue. $7.8 billion in a backlog of bills. This does nothing to correct that situation, but adds to it."
Speaker Mike Madigan closed the floor discussion after the passage of the bill with bi-partisan support. He re-interated that there was bi-partisan compromise on the budget bill because Governor Rauner did not insist on Turnaround Agenda items that, Madigan said, would "hurt Illinois' middle class."
After the bill was voted upon in the Senate, Senator Dan McConchie issued a statement explaining his views on the proposal:
Sen. McConchie said, "I’m pleased to say there is no state tax increase and no Chicago bailout in the budget deal. Taxpayers should not be made to subsidize Chicago's failures. This budget agreement prevents that."
Additionally, transportation, human services and other critical government services will also receive funding to keep projects and services running.
“A short-term budget is not what I had hoped for, but it was the only path forward to ensure critical government services get funded and schools open on time,” said McConchie. “I am hopeful that the motivation we’ve seen the past couple days continues and the General Assembly is able to pass a full balanced budget with much needed reforms in the months to follow.”
After all the voting, the Governor announced to the press that he would sign the bill into effect. He emphasized that it is not a budget. "It's a good faith effort as we move ahead for a balanced budget that includes the reforms needed to make Illinois a growth state," he said.