HomeBudget & Tax NewsRepublicans Decry End of Scheduled Session without Budget from Illinois Democrats

Republicans Decry End of Scheduled Session without Budget from Illinois Democrats

(The Center Square) – Friday’s scheduled end of Illinois’ spring legislative session came and went without a budget in sight.

Per the Illinois Constitution, legislators have until May 31 to pass a budget for the coming fiscal year with simple majorities. The next fiscal year begins July 1. At the start of the 103rd General Assembly in January, Democrats in the House and Senate scheduled adjournment for May 19.

Last month at an Illinois Chamber of Commerce event in Springfield, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, was asked if they’d really end session early as scheduled.

“May 19th is the goal, that’s for sure,” Welch said. “If we can get a budget on the board May 19th that’s fiscally responsible and compassionate, we’ll get out of here on May 19th. Does that answer your question?”

Separately attending the event last month, Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, was asked the same question.

“We’re out of here May 19th,” Harmon said.

Friday, on the last day of scheduled session without a budget, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, said Republicans have not been invited by the Democratic majority to help craft the budget.

“Illinois Democrats have the largest majority in history and yet can not abide by their own set schedules,” McCombie said Friday evening. “This failed effort was despite our own efforts with offers to help to be part of the process and bring true solutions to Illinois families.”

Republicans said with the prospects of a recession and decreased revenue projections, they want to see no new spending, bills paid on time and to continue funding the rainy day fund.

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said it doesn’t have to be last-minute bill drops of thousands of pages without taxpayers getting a say.

“Government by the dark of night can not continue to happen in the Illinois General Assembly,” Davidsmeyer said. “We have to bring it out into the public, we have to make sure the public understands where their dollars are being spent, how they’re being spent, and what our priorities are here in the state of Illinois.”

Democrats are secretly crafting a “partisan mega budget” approaching $50 billion, he said.

Late Friday, Harmon and Welch released a joint statement.

“When we came to Springfield in January, we made it clear that our top priority was a fiscally responsible budget that prioritized hardworking Illinoisans,” the statement said. “That continues to be true. Conversation is ongoing and negotiations are productive. We are committed to passing a good, balanced budget for the people of Illinois.”

Their offices said both chambers will return next week. The Senate is scheduled to return Wednesday and Thursday. The House is scheduled to return Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more from Budget & Tax News.

For more public policy from The Heartland Institute.

Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.


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