* As mentioned below, the House Republicans pulled out of budget negotiations after Speaker Madigan refused to bend on pension reform. That caused a chain reaction. Some GOP projects were cut because Republicans weren’t voting for the budget, but state facilities in Republican districts that had been targeted for closure were left intact. The Democrats also added $50 million to the General State Aid budget for schools. Republicans were furious…
House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, also accused Democrats of adding money to the budget after they learned that Republicans would not support it.
“There’s $50 million more than when we were working with you,” Cross said. “Fifty million is a lot of money. You can’t control yourselves. That’s what happens when you are left to your own devices.”
Democrats said they added $50 million to general state aid to schools. With the addition, general state aid would drop by $161 million under the House budget, instead of $211 million. […]
Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, said Republicans told him they would not support a budget that did not keep all state facilities open.
“We found the money. Isn’t that something?” Crespo said.
Although many of those facilities are in Republican districts, they still voted against the budget.
The House Democrats say that even with the school money, which came from refinancing state debt, the budget will still be $4 million below the spending cap the chamber agreed to earlier this year.
Republicans were also unhappy about some changes made to the human services budget. Funding for transportation for mental health patients was taken out, and instead, more money went to the Department of Children and Family Services. Money for drug addiction prevention and youth in transition programs also fell under the Democratic budget ax.
“It was a good budget before you started whacking away at it,” said Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Republican from Des Plaines. “Now you’ve cut things that everyone at the table agreed to, Democrat and Republican.”