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Early evening update

Saturday, May 30, 2009

* 6:35 pm - I’ve been posting a bit at Twitter today, so you might want to check my page every now and then.

The four legislative leaders and the governor are meeting at this moment. We should have a report and video soon after the meeting ends.

We’ll also post a video here of Gov. Quinn talking about the budget in a few minutes. Check back then.

* Patterson headlined this one: “Jim Edgar makes House calls.” Cute …

Gov. Pat Quinn called Edgar to ask if Edgar would call Republican lawmakers to get a real pulse on whether any of them could vote for an income tax increase.

Edgar said he would but told Quinn that Quinn needed to cut more from the budget before asking for one. Edgar talked to one Republican who said the same thing.

That pretty much matches what Edgar told me earlier this year when I called him up to get his take on the budget mess Quinn was inheriting. Edgar said there was likely no way out without a tax increase but that it had to be paired with unpopular budget cuts.

* The Senate has advanced another tax hike bill. A couple of good points from McDermott…

- The latest proposal would raise more money for the state than Quinn’s plan (by about $1.5 billion), thus giving lawmakers more of a reason to go out on the limb of supporting a tax hike. […]

- No one actually expects this new proposal to go anywhere; they just want to vote on something that will allow them to go home to their constituents and claim they fought the good fight on behalf of education, without actually having to institute a politically dangerous tax hike.

Sen. James Meeks on the Senate’s tax hike bill. He claims he’s close to passage…

Meeks also believes his bill is superior to the governor’s tax hike plan…

* The House has also advanced a tax hike…

House Democrats today advanced a 50 percent increase in the state income tax for two years, but final approval remains very much in doubt as the General Assembly nears its Sunday night adjournment deadline.

Democrats have been unable to find enough votes in the House to raise the income tax to help plug a major budget hole and Republicans have said they aren’t ready to vote for a tax hike yet. House Democrats met for a couple hours behind closed doors on Friday but abruptly left the Capitol without taking a vote.

The proposal, approved with all Democratic votes at a House committee, would generate $4.5 billion a year to help stave off massive cuts in state services, according to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago).

* The House has passed a recall proposal…

The Illinois House today sent state senators a plan prompted by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s ouster that could lead to voters getting the chance to recall future governors from office.

Gov. Pat Quinn watched as the House voted 109-6 on one of his top reform priorities, a proposal to add the recall of governors to the Illinois Constitution. The state Senate still has to act to put the proposal on next year’s November ballot. Then voters would have to ratify the amendment.

Because of a timing issue, the earliest the Senate could give its approval would be Monday. That would mean the spring legislative session went into overtime past the midnight Sunday adjournment deadline.

* Dick Durbin was in town today…

Springfield’s own U.S. senator was back at the state Capitol today but not about to get involved in the mess facing state lawmakers.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, shook hands and talked with officials and onlookers at the Capitol today, as lawmakers aim to wrap up their spring legislative session tomorrow night.

* The gaming bill has more trouble in the Senate. Unless the Republicans jump on, opposition from elements of the Black Caucus could sink it. This story was posted earlier today…

With tax hikes stalled at the Capitol, one suburban lawmaker said gambling expansion should be reconsidered as a possible state budget fix.

“I think it should be very strongly considered because we need some kind of revenue to get out of here,” said state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat and gambling expansion advocate.

* 6:52 pm - Governor Quinn spoke with the media shortly after the recall amendment proposal passed the House. The lack of House support for a tax increase and the budget were the dominant topics. Edgar’s decision to lobby Republican lawmakers on Quinn’s behalf was also a popular topic of discussion.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - another cliff hanger - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 7:04 pm:

    Rich, what’s the likelihood we’re going to just get a ‘lights on’ budget? seems like there’s so much talk but still not enough votes for the tax hike - but hard to get a good read not being there myself. Any predictions or should I know better? :)

  2. - macoupin county - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 7:29 pm:

    Edgar’s right! Why would anyone vote to give this legislature and governor more of our money,he needs to cut some programs, get rid of some blago/ryan hacks! Why is Louanna Peters who can’t explain the $1 million wrong school condo buying screw up still employed? Why are the backers of the IDOC and IDOT traffic Safety moves still there? the flu shot, video game fiasco, grt, allkids, stem-cell bunch, midnight raise getters still working. C’mon Quinn show us that you will not waste taxpayer money!

    I understand they need much more than just their salaries would provide but I’d feel a lot better knowing that there could be some sort of oversight with my tax dollars!! Could somebody…anybody just explain to us commoners why this hasn’t been done?!!

  3. - Anon - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 7:38 pm:

    Is SB 1197 the Doomsday Budget?

  4. - to macoupin county - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 7:54 pm:

    what do you call 1.3 billion in cuts the governor has proposed?

  5. - cubs win! - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 8:11 pm:

    louanner peters resigned quite awhile ago

  6. - macoupin county - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 8:32 pm:

    to to mac cty:

    what the troopers getting cut or senior services? that’s spin and you know it! it’s never gonna happen!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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