Little Movement on Illinois Budget This Week

Child Care Association of Illinois President Margaret Berglind

(Springfield, IL) – May 27, 2011. There was little public movement on next year’s Illinois state budget as the Illinois General Assembly worked behind the scenes on most budget decisions this week, according to the Child Care Association of Illinois.

“Other major policy debates took center stage at the state capitol,” said Child Care Association President Margaret Berglind. “Remap, pension reform, workmen’s compensation reform and ComEd rate increases dominated lawmakers’ attention this week.”

Late yesterday, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) announced that the Senate Democrats would agree with the House version of the spending portion of the budget, but still disagreed with the lower House revenue projections, according to Berglind.

“The Senate is using the higher Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability revenue projection,” said Berglind. “The House is forecasting more conservative revenue growth.”

Berglind noted that a major $135 million difference exists between Senate and House budgets regarding general state aid for local school districts.

“Once the school budget is settled, it would appear other parts of the spending plan will be ready for vote,” said Berglind.

According to Cullerton, if the final budget uses the lower House appropriations number but the higher Senate revenue projection, any money that comes in above and beyond the spending plan would be used to pay backlogged bills.

“Senator Cullerton says any extra money would not be used for additional appropriations,” said Berglind. “It will pay overdue bills.”

The General Assembly is scheduled to meet over the weekend. The deadline for the budget is next Tuesday, May 31 at midnight, before a larger, 3/5th majority vote would be required to pass any budget.

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