Illinois finally passed a budget.
But the vote yesterday to override Governor Rauner’s veto was a tight one, with 71 yes votes to 43 nos.
One of those No votes was local State Representative CD Davidsmeyer, who voted in favor of the budget and a 5 billion dollar tax increase in the House vote prior to the Governor’s veto on Sunday, but changed his mind when the time came to override Rauner’s veto yesterday afternoon.
Representative Davidsmeyer says he listened to the people whom he represents.
“It was after a lot of conversations with constituents, laying out all the facts, and saying that I am ready to take the tough road. And they said that they are not willing to take a tax hike in return for no spending reforms. At the end of the day I represent 110,000 people and I had to listen to the people that I represent,” says Davidsmeyer.
On Sunday, the House made its initial vote to approve the income tax increase and budget plan. That first vote came back with 72 “yes” votes and 45 “no” votes. To replicate those number of votes this second time around, a lot was riding on the 15 House Republicans, including Davidsmeyer, who cast “yes” ballots the first time around, thus providing the 71 votes necessary to override a gubernatorial veto. Though Davidsmeyer did vote “no” this time around, he says he remains hopeful to work for reforms with his Democratic colleagues.
“I still remain hopeful that we can get some kind of reform. Representative Davis who was running the bill for the Democrats said that they want to continue to work in budget meetings and continue to work on it. I hope that he is actually sincere, we really haven’t had any appropriations meetings in the last two years to speak of. I hope that we can get back to some kind of sanity and get back to some bipartisan conversations,” Davidsmeyer explains.
The House is going to remain in special session, despite the budget being passed, in order to work on other bills and reforms. Davidsmeyer tells us what he expects to see from his chamber once it gets back to work.
“I don’t have a schedule yet. I would imagine we would be talking about schools funding reform. The governor said that he is going to veto SB1, a school funding reform bill At the end of the day Senate Bill 1 provides special treatment for Chicago schools, those opportunities are not given to schools downstate or outside of Chicago and I don’t think that’s right,” says Davidsmeyer.
The General Assembly will continue their Special Session today, now with a budget in place.