Illinois GOP Introduces Budget Package

Illinois state Republicans are introducing a new package of bills they say is their effort to end the budget impasse.

 

The Republicans’ proposal includes some of the same ideas that were sticking points for Democrats, including the length of a property tax freeze and how much to raise income taxes.

Jim Durkin is the top Republican in the House.

 

"The question is whether or not the Speaker is committed to breaking the impasse because he needs my votes."

 

Any bill would now need both Republican and Democratic votes to pass - because lawmakers are now in overtime session.

 

Senate Democrats did pass a budget…

 

And a spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton says the Republicans’ announcement - quote - “doesn’t exactly scream bipartisan compromise.”

 

The summary of the bills are as follows:

  • Budget Bill: Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects.

  • Property Tax Relief: Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats.

  • Local Government Consolidation: Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government.

  • Education Funding: Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities.

  • Workers’ Comp: Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard.

  • Pension Reform: Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments.

  • Term Limits: Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State)