The Illinois Senate passed the Democrats’ $38 billion spending plan Wednesday night. The proposal contains more than $1 billion in spending above the current year’s budget that, alongside a $5 billion income tax increase that lawmakers passed last summer over Rauner’s vetoes.
On a 100-14 vote, the Illinois House passed the $38.5 billion budget implementation bill. Shortly thereafter, the House voted to approve the spending plan, 97-18 Thursday night.
The budget bills now move to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said he will sign it.
“The taxpayers of this state are getting killed, and this budget continues the carnage,” Rep. David McSweeney cried, imploring Rauner to make good on his promise to roll back the tax increase from 4.95 percent to its previous 3 percent.
Elementary and secondary education gets about a $350 million increase, and lawmakers pointed out that less-flashy, but critical, expenditures were fully funded, including pension obligations and $4 billion for state-employee health insurance. Spending increases by less than 3 percent, about the rate of inflation, and many spending lines are held flat.
Rauner reversed his position on any past promised reforms.
Rauner’s abandoned the business-friendly, anti-union revamps he demanded the last three years in exchange for a budget. He was notably silent this spring on his long-held demands for a statewide property-tax freeze, workers’ compensation program restrictions, and term limits for politicians. Even the cost-saving initiatives he proposed in the budget plan he put forward in February — requiring local school districts to pick up the employer costs for teacher pensions and steep cost-reductions in employee health care — disappeared.