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House certifies revenue projections

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014

* The House voted unanimously yesterday to pass a very important item

The House approved two resolutions, both of which say that the House believes there will be just less than $34.5 billion in revenue available to spend in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

That is about $1 billion less than what lawmakers thought would be available last year when they set about crafting the current state budget.

* Senate President John Cullerton’s earlier projection didn’t include additional spending pressures

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, said the figure is a “cautious” estimate that does not take into account any possible savings from changes the General Assembly made to the state’s employee pension systems.

The pension overhaul currently is being challenged in court.

Lawmakers are ramping up their budget talks without input from Gov. Pat Quinn. The Chicago Democrat had been scheduled to introduce his budget blueprint last week, but postponed the plan until after the March 18 primary election.

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, predicted tough budget times in a recent speech, suggesting that the rollback of the tax hike combined with rising costs for a number of key state programs could create a $3 billion hole, leaving little money for new programs or to pay down a nagging pile of unpaid bills.

* And

In recent years, lawmakers have generally stuck to the spending number approved by the House when creating the budget.

The Governor’s Budget Office projects a revenue amount that is larger than the House’s number by $705 million. However, legislators said they are encouraged that Gov. Pat Quinn’s number is close to theirs. “And I want to compliment the governor’s office because their numbers were very similar to the COGFA numbers this time, and I find that very heartening because a lot of other times, they have been very far apart,” said Democratic Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo.

* Also

While Republicans joined in establishing the spending cap for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, they insisted their votes did not endorse anything beyond that estimate.

Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said he thought the revenue estimate was a “responsible number” but that it “doesn’t mean we’re supporting the budget.”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said he thought the revenue estimate was a “responsible number” but that it “doesn’t mean we’re supporting the budget.”===

    Nicely played, Leader Durkin.

    Be an Adult, be a partner, bd a worthy opponent.

    Keep doing your business as you are, and your hard work is going to pay off.


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    Proceeding under the assumption that much of the tax increase will expire. That’s the responsible thing to do.

    I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that the taxes will be extended in a lame-duck session.


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:25 pm:

    === a “cautious” estimate that does not take into account any possible savings from changes the General Assembly made to the state’s employee pension systems ===

    Also a smart decision. Glimpses of maturity and responsibility in Springfield? Stunning.

    === Lawmakers are ramping up their budget talks without input from Gov. Pat Quinn. The Chicago Democrat had been scheduled to introduce his budget blueprint last week, but postponed the plan until after the March 18 primary election. ===

    Yeah, about that “maturity and responsibility in Springfield”?

    I spoke too soon. Way too soon.


  4. - Walker - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Is this the part where Tom Cross “Treasurer” brings suit?

    Worked exactly as designed, to produce an agreed Revenue number, created by non-partisan professional staff and backed up by independent analyses, to begin the budget process.

    Now if the budgeted spending matches the projected revenues, you have produced a “balanced budget” to start the year.

    It neither adds nor subtracts from outstanding deficits, which still have to be addressed. If the revenues actually turn out differently, that is a different challenge to be met.


  5. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    In a former life, i was occasionally asked for budget process “reforms”. I would always suggest following the constitution. Ya know, staying within a genuine revenue estimate. $750 mil dif on a base this large is peanuts.


  6. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    == I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that the taxes will be extended in a lame-duck session. ==

    I think it depends upon who wins the governor’s race. If a Republican wins, I doubt Madigan would take the heat for a partisan rollcall, while the governor-elect is raising holy hell about it.


  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    –If a Republican wins, I doubt Madigan would take the heat for a partisan rollcall, while the governor-elect is raising holy hell about it.–

    Madigan’s calling for reducing the corporate income tax even further. How do you square that with a higher individual rate?


  8. - Bill White - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    === Is this the part where Tom Cross “Treasurer” brings suit? ===

    Can Tom Cross “Treasurer” dispute revenue projections that Tom Cross “IL House member” voted to approve?


  9. - Commander Norton - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Don’t forget the EITC proposal. It may not be doubled as Quinn wants, but there may be room for some sort of increase to be used as a bargaining chip. After all, when you can’t get to a graduated structure (and I really don’t think we’ll get there this year), an increase in the state EITC at least decreases the regressivity of the flat rate.


  10. - Joe M - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    === Is this the part where Tom Cross “Treasurer” brings suit? ===

    I think you guys are giving more power and duties to the treasurer’s office that the office legally has.

    SECTION 18. TREASURER - DUTIES
    The Treasurer, in accordance with law, shall be responsible for the safekeeping and investment of monies and securities deposited with him, and for their disbursement upon order of the Comptroller.
    (Source: Illinois Constitution.)


  11. - UIC Guy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    ====the figure is a “cautious” estimate that does not take into account any possible savings from changes the General Assembly made to the state’s employee pension systems====
    Agreed with Formerly that this is a smart decision. But it does tend to undermine the ‘necessity’ argument the the changes should be approved by the ILSC in spite of the Constitution. And what other arguments are there? (A real question? I’d be interested to hear what arguments people think the state could bring.)


  12. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 5:53 pm:

    Joe M;

    It’s pretty clear from recent action of the GA that you will need to find a more authoritative source. ;-)


  13. - drew - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:34 pm:

    Maybe i’m confused, but how is it that changes to the pension system would affect revenues anyway?


  14. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 12:07 am:

    Drew,

    It affects the expense side by lowering the “required” contributions.


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