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Rauner says he will sign $38.5 billion budget plan

Less than 24 hours after the Senate overwhelmingly approved a fiscal 2019 spending plan, the House followed suit Thursday and Gov. Bruce Rauner said he would sign it.

rauner bruceOn a 100-14 vote, the Illinois House passed the $38.5 billion budget implementation bill. Shortly thereafter, the House voted to approve the spending plan, 97-18.

The budget bills now move to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said he will sign it.

“We started this year’s budget process with the common-sense goals of a full-year balanced budget and no new taxes. With this budget, we can come as close as any General Assembly and Governor in Illinois have in a very long time,” the governor said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “It’s a step in the right direction, though it does not include much-needed debt paydown and reforms that would reduce taxes, grow our economy, create jobs and raise family incomes.”

While lawmakers said the proposed budget is balanced, they also said they expected to see more supplemental spending appropriations in the coming fiscal year because it does not include court-ordered pay increases for thousands of union employees.

The Senate passed the spending plan Wednesday night. The new fiscal year begins July 1. The proposal contains more than $1 billion in spending above the current year’s budget that, alongside a $5 billion income tax increase that lawmakers passed last summer over Rauner’s vetoes.

Most lawmakers thanked their colleagues for what they say was an improved budget process.

“This bill is an incredible improvement over our status quo,” Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, said.

But two opponents were vocal in their criticism.

“We have the highest taxes in this country,” Rep. David McSweeney said. “The taxpayers of this state are getting killed” and this bill “continues the carnage.”

Rep. Jeanne Ives, who also voted against the budget implementation bill, said lawmakers didn’t have enough time to evaluate the spending plan to review it thoroughly.

 — From Illinois News Network



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