Friday, 18 August, 2017

Illinois House Democrats push tax freeze to end budget impasse

A drawing of the new I-74 bridge A drawing of the new I-74 bridge. Iowa Department of Transportation
Edmund Collier | 28 June, 2017, 03:54

The property tax freeze, which has been a longstanding Rauner demand, was proposed separate from the budget.

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 IL to start paying $1 billion a month as it heads into a third year without a budget.

Bruce Rauner and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds were joined by IL and Iowa officials Monday in a ceremonial groundbreaking to launch a three-and-a-half year bi-state construction project to build a new Interstate 74 Mississippi River Bridge to improve travel and safety through the I-74 corridor. I'm not saying it completely meets all the requests of the governor.

IL still has a trek to get to a full-year budget and avoid being the first US state to have its credit rating downgraded to junk.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted that property taxes be held in check as part of a budget deal.

Senate leaders scramble to save health bill amid defections
Johnson is one of four Republican senators who oppose the current bill, though he insists he wants to improve it, not kill it. In similar fashion, voters rejected the House bill by almost a two-to-one margin in a recent CBS News poll .

Democrats in the Illinois House revealed their budget plan Tuesday, and now the question remains - what about the reforms Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has been demanding over the course of the almost two-yearlong budget impasse?

The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate adjourned from the seventh day of special session after less than 11 total minutes between the two chambers. Leader Durkin says his members are still negotiating with Democrats, and he doesn't view calling the bills for a vote on the House floor as something constructive. "Stop wasting time." Neither Madigan nor his budget negotiator, fellow Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, would say how similar the plan is to one the Senate passed in May.

The Democratic spending outline doesn't answer how lawmakers would tackle the stalemate's fiscal legacy: a $15 billion mountain of past-due bills and billions of dollars spent the past six months that were never appropriated. But any budget that takes effect immediately needs a three-fifths supermajority vote in each house. It would raise about $5 billion from an income tax increase and spending cuts would exceed $3 billion.

The Democrats' plan would prohibit most local governments from increasing taxes.

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