During the July 4 holiday weekend, signifcant progress was made to end the two-year long State of Illinois budget impasse. On July 2, the House passed spending, revenue and budget implementation legislation (Senate Bill 6, Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 42, respectively) with significant bipartisan support. This package of legislation results in a balanced budget for the current fiscal year with a mix of budget cuts and revenue increases.
On July 4, the Senate approved these bills with some bipartisan support. That same day, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed these three bills and the Senate overrode the vetoes.
The budget passed by the General Assembly spends $36.1 billion—less than Governor Rauner proposed in his $37.3 billion introduced budget. In addition to cuts, the budget relies on increasing the personal income tax rate to 4.95% from 3.75% and increasing the corporate income tax rate to 7% from 5.25%. The new personal income tax rate is still lower than the 5% rate that was in place between 2011 and 2014. Other parts of the budget plan include increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, closing certain corporate tax loopholes, interfund borrowing and fund sweeps.
The end of the State of Illinois budget impasse will happen as long as the the House of Representatives overrides Governor Rauner’s vetoes, as well. Those votes will happen on the afternoon Thursday, July 6.
We ask you to call your House member at a toll free number provided by the Responsible Budget Coalition, (855) 334-6885, and ask them to vote yes on the override of Senate Bill 9 to increase state revenue.
We particularly need to generate calls to thank the 15 Republican House members who made a responsible vote to increase revenue, so that the State of Illinois could avoid having our fiscal condition lowered to junk bond status, start reducing the backlog of unpaid bills and avoid even more cuts to important state priorities, such as education and human services. The names and State Capitol phone numbers of these 15 Republican House members are below:
Steve Andersson – (217) 782-5457
Terry Bryant – (217) 782-0387
John Cavaletto – (217) 782-0066
C.D. Davidsmeyer – (217) 782-1840
Mike Fortner – (217) 782-1653
Norine K. Hammond – (217) 782-0416
David Harris – (217) 782-3739
Chad Hays – (217) 782-4811
Charlie Meier – (217) 782-6401
Bill Mitchell – (217) 782-8163
Reggie Phillips – (217) 558-1040
Bob Pritchard – (217) 782-0425
David Reis – (217) 782-2087
Mike Unes – (217) 782-8152
Sara Wojcicki Jimenez – (217) 782-0044
These members, in particular, along with Republican State Senator Dale Righter, deserve our thanks. They put the well-being of the State of Illinois in the forefront of their decision making process and crossed party lines to join Democrats in supporting a bipartisan solution to end the state budget impasse.