House Democrats Present a Budget Plan

Jun 27, 2017

More movement in budget negotiations Tuesday in Springfield as Illinois House Democrats have introduced their own budget plan.

The Democratic budget would fully fund Illinois government for the first time in two years. But it’s going to need Republican support to actually pass.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says it incorporates a lot of suggestions from Republicans.

“I’m not saying that this is perfect. I’m not saying that it completely meets every request of the governor.”

But, Madigan says, it would spend less than the budget Rauner introduced in February.

Taxes would have to go up to meet these spending levels. Democrats say that aspect of their plan is still being worked out.

Leaders of the Illinois General Assembly are scoping a budget plan from House Democrats that would raise income taxes and make deep spending cuts.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago emerged from a Tuesday afternoon meeting of Democratic and Republican leaders of the General Assembly. He says the plan presented at the meeting is very similar to one the Senate OK'd in May. It would raise about $5 billion from an income tax increase and spending cuts would exceed $3 billion.

Republican leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, attorneys in a lawsuit over $2 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills say court-ordered talks to resolve the issue haven't made progress and they're asking a judge to order Illinois to start paying $1 billion a month as it heads into a third year without a budget.

The request in a Tuesday filing in Chicago federal court comes three weeks after Judge Joan Lefkow ruled Illinois isn't in compliance with previous orders to pay health care bills. She also told the sides to work out a deal on a level of payment ensuring critical medical care for the most vulnerable.

But, the latest filing says ``the parties are at an impasse.'' It also says the $1 billion should be manageable because of some federal reimbursements.

There's a hearing in the case Wednesday.