A decision is finally made Sunday over the Illinois state budget with both the tax revenue and spending budgets approved. However, the battle will continue after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he will veto both Senate bills.
Senate Bill 6 was the most contested one. It calls for a $5 billion tax increase to balance the state budget. It was backed by a majority of Democrats.
Republican House leader Jim Durkin voted against SB 6 arguing the tax hikes are affordable to Illinois families and wouldn’t do anything to improve the state’s debt.
“I am not going to put votes, I am not fighting for a permanent tax increase when there’s absolutely no reforms that are on the table, no meaningful spending cuts, it’s just not going to happen,” said Rep. Durkin, “It will not change anything, as a matter of fact, it will probably go down in a worse direction.”
Not all Republicans sided with their party’s majority opinion on SB 6. 15 Republicans voted ‘yes’ to pass the tax revenue budget, including Rep. Terri Bryant, who represents one of Illinois southern districts. “We must have a balanced budget and if that means we have to increase taxes right now to do it...I, like one of my dear colleagues, know that I’m probably going to get primaried for this,” said Bryant.
Several school district superintendents were also present for Sunday’s vote. Dan Cox, the superintendent of the Staunton School District, was thankful to see the $37 billion spending budget approved. “We’re happy to get to this point, but we should have never been here in the first place,” said Cox.
Next, SB 6 and SB 9 need to pass through the Senate and be signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. However, in a statement released Sunday, Governor Rauner says he will veto both bills.
Gov. Bruce Rauner's statement below:When I took office, I promised the taxpayers of Illinois that I would fight every day to take this state in a new direction after decades of failed leadership from both parties. Today, Springfield has decided to give the people of Illinois the largest tax hike in history and continue out of balance budgets with no real reform.Under Speaker Madigan’s direction, legislators chose to double down on higher taxes while protecting the special interests and refusing to reform the status quo. It’s a repeat of the failed policies that created this financial crisis and caused jobs and taxpayers to flee.I will veto Mike Madigan’s permanent 32 percent tax hike. Illinois families don’t deserve to have more of the hard-earned money taken from them when the legislature has done little to restore confidence in government or grow jobs. Illinois families deserve more jobs, property tax relief and term limits. But tonight they got more of the same.For two and a half years we have been working to find common ground on a balanced budget. As recently as two days ago we believed that was possible. The legislature could have passed a no reform budget like this one two years ago. Instead, they allowed Mike Madigan to play his political games, passed phony budgets, racked up our debt and inflicted pain on the most vulnerable. All of this to force a permanent, 32 percent tax increase on Illinois familiesMoving forward, this vote shows that if the legislature is willing to pass the largest tax hike in state history with no reforms, then we must engage citizens and redouble our efforts to change the state. Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved