* We’re gonna skip over some of the stuff we discussed yesterday. Let’s start with Finke…
Illinois House Democrats Wednesday night rammed through a spending plan for the next state fiscal year, even though there’s no agreement on any of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “turnaround agenda.”
The House voted 63-53 to send the spending plan to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Democrats. Rauner’s office said the budget in Senate Bill 2048 is $7 billion out of balance, and that the Republican governor will veto it if it gets to his desk.
“This is a very sad and dark day in Illinois democracy,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs.
* The Sun-Times has a bit on why the Republicans were so upset about the procedure…
After the vote — in which seven Democrats targeted in November elections voted no — many House Republicans began yelling for a vote verification. Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, got in a shouting match with Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, shouting “This is b——-.”
Many Republicans were also upset that the debate was cut short.
Most of the “No” votes are not targets. But, yeah, the Republicans definitely had a right to be upset with the way this was jammed through. Our good friends at BlueRoomStream.com have provided us a video clip of the end of the debate and the aftermath. Click here to watch it.
* Mark Brown…
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan took his latest turn Wednesday at adding to state government dysfunction by ramming through a budget plan that has one major problem — it proposes to spend at least $7 billion more than the state expects to take in this year. […]
If there is a method to Madigan’s madness, it is not always evident to us mere mortals.
Was he trying to tell us that this is the size of a budget that House Democrats would find acceptable and that now it’s a matter of agreeing on how to raise the revenue to pay for it?
Or was this just another big F you to Rauner and the ever-evolving legislative demands that the governor has laid out as pre-conditions to a budget deal?
Well, it was definitely the latter, with maybe a little bit of the former.
With his ploy, Madigan erased all doubt that he is prepared to push beyond the May 31 scheduled adjournment of the Legislature, and possibly all the way past the November elections, without a state budget for the second straight year.
And maybe well beyond that mark, too.
The Democrats’ budget proposal would fund everything except what’s already covered under court orders. The state would be spending $13.5 billion from its general fund, which is comprised of taxes. With federal funds and other money included, the total budget would be $47.5 billion.
A huge chunk of the funding would go to public schools, which would receive a total of $11.2 billion. Rauner has repeatedly said school funding should be a top priority to ensure schools open in the fall, and what Democrats are proposing one-ups his suggested funding increase of $55 million.
Democrats want to add $700 million, targeting most of the money for poorer districts.
The governor’s office blasted the Democrats’ overall budget idea, saying an analysis shows their plan is $7 billion out of balance. A full veto would throw schools into chaos this summer and force some to use reserves to open.
Where to begin. Let’s start with what happened Wednesday morning: “Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner told Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson on AM 560 ‘The Answer’, in an exclusive interview for Upstream Ideas, he is optimistic Democrats will band together to get a state budget passed by the end of the legislative session on May 31 because unlike House Speaker Michael Madigan, they are privately ‘sick of the status quo’ and are gathering up the courage to ‘do the right thing.’”
SURPRISE! House Democrats banded together and they passed a budget before May 31, all right. They rammed through a Dem-only $39 billion spending plan about three hours after the 500-page bill was introduced in committee. […]
NOT VETO-PROOF — This plan would still have to get through the Illinois Senate, which holds a true Democratic supermajority. If it does, the House roll call of 63-53 almost assures it could not mount a successful override, which would need 71.
* Team Tribune…
But if history is any guide, something close to what the powerful speaker put forward will end up being sent to the governor. And so began in earnest the long-awaited endgame of the legislative session that’s supposed to conclude Tuesday.
All of it made for a weird day under the Capital dome, where Radogno labeled Madigan a “Cheshire cat,” Illinois first lady Diana Rauner’s nonprofit group joined a lawsuit against her husband’s administration, and lawmakers sporting seersucker suits spent the evening hours debating the wisdom of regulating yoga schools. […]
“I don’t think we can afford to count on compromise. It didn’t work in the current fiscal year, and there’s no guarantee that it will in the next,” said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. “And for us to turn our backs on our responsibilities and fail to leave an insurance policy in place in the event there is no further compromise would be a significant disservice to the people of the state of Illinois, particularly to those who are vulnerable, who are fragile, who have no place but to us to turn.”
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin countered, complaining that the 500-page document was unveiled just two hours before lawmakers were asked to vote on it. “Oh for crying out loud, this is absolutely the biggest joke that I have witnessed in my 18 years in Springfield,” said Durkin, of Western Springs. “We don’t know what’s in it; all we know is it’s a lot of spending.”
We’re still waiting to hear from Senate President Cullerton, by the way.