The clock continues to tick at the State Capitol as Illinois lawmakers try to end a budget crisis that would enter its third year at midnight if no compromise is made.
While time is of the essence, the Illinois House has taken a critical step towards ending the budget stalemate. An amendment to Senate Bill 6, the budget bill, passed the House by an overwhelming 90-25 vote, exceeding the 71 votes necessary to pass with veto-proof status.
There’s still plenty of work to be done however. The proposed state budget introduced to Illinois’ General Assembly this morning was for $36 billion dollars. However, since that proposal was an amendment, it still requires another vote for final House approval. And while the initial budget measure has been okay’d, lawmakers are still negotiating a tax increase package needed to ensure the budget is balanced.
The State Journal-Register reports that House Speaker Michael Madigan has indicated that the House will remain in session tomorrow to finalize negotiations on the tax package and hash-out other issues. With Madigan stating that lawmakers will continue working tomorrow, Illinois will miss its midnight deadline.
Missing that deadline means that the country’s major bond-rating houses could downgrade the state’s creditworthiness to “junk” status, however Madigan has said he is asking those agencies to give Illinois more time before making the downgrade official.