Illinois House advances 2015 budget - FOX 32 News Chicago

Illinois House advances 2015 budget

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Associated Press) -

The Illinois House has approved a scaled-back 2015 budget that lawmakers say will lead to layoffs and further delays in paying the state's bills.

The approximately $35.7 billion spending plan passed the Democrat-controlled chamber Tuesday. It now moves to the Senate.

Lawmakers drafted the plan after House Speaker Michael Madigan announced his chamber had given up on extending a temporary income tax increase. That will result in a roughly $1.8 billion revenue drop next year.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says the proposed budget is "kicking the can down the road" because lawmakers are banking on additional revenue midway through the year.

Senate President John Cullerton says lawmakers could return after the November election and make the tax hike permanent or vote to generate other revenue.

“As Illinois families continue to struggle to make ends meet, Springfield politicians are now advancing a budget that relies on more borrowing to fuel even more government spending while increasing our unpaid bill backlog by over $2 billion," said State Rep. Tom Cross. "Instead of taking the time necessary to craft a thoughtful, responsible and honestly balanced budget, Springfield insiders are using budget gimmicks veiled by a lack of transparency to spend more, while driving the state deeper into debt. Illinois is now three years into the Quinn/Frerichs 67 percent tax increase and we are going from bad to worse. The simple truth is that the Quinn/Frerichs tax increase failed – Illinois still has over $5 billion in unpaid bills, the region's highest unemployment rate and the nation's worst credit rating, and this budget only exacerbates the problems. Now more than ever, Illinois needs a new direction that prioritizes having an honestly balanced budget and ending the gimmicks and insider tricks that have resulted in the state having one of the nation's worst budget deficits.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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