IL House overrides Gov. Rauner's veto to enact spending plan

IL House overrides Gov. Rauner's veto to enact spending plan
Published: Jul. 6, 2017 at 5:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2017 at 10:25 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - After more than two years, Illinois has a budget plan.

At around 4:30 p.m. the Illinois House voted to override Governor Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 42.

They also overturned his vetoes of Senate Bills 6 and 9 to enact first spending plan since 2015.

In a statement following the vote, Governor Bruce Rauner said:

"Today was another step in Illinois' never-ending tragic trail of tax hikes. Speaker Madigan's 32 percent permanent income tax increase will force another tax hike in the near future. His tax-and-spend plan is not balanced, does not cut enough spending or pay down enough debt, and does not help grow jobs or restore confidence in government. It proves how desperately we need real property tax relief and term limits. Now more than ever, the people of Illinois must fight for change that will help us create a brighter future."

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti issued this statement:

"Today, Speaker Madigan got his wish.  Springfield is back to business-as-usual: tax increases, unbalanced budgets, and phony reforms.  For two years, the majority party has held our state hostage in a budget crisis.  Why?  For a 32 percent permanent income tax increase they could have passed two years ago.  Businesses and families are fleeing our state.  The only way out of this financial crisis is to pass the real reforms and pro-growth policies our businesses and families so desperately need."

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs issued the following statement on Thursday:

"Today's vote to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of the budget was the only option to restore vital funding to universities, social service agencies, and try to avoid another credit downgrade.

"This is not a time to rejoice. Today only brings us a bit of relief, but it is a step in the right direction to put Illinois back on track."

Frerichs went on to say it is hard to determine how long it will take for Illinois universities, social service agencies and businesses to recover.

Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn issued the following statement:

"With the veto override and the enactment of the state's budget, SIU's campuses can return their full focus to the most important job we do – educating the leaders of tomorrow. We now have the much needed financial stability we having been requesting for the last two years which means we will also be able to support the healthcare, business development, research and cultural opportunities we provide throughout the southern and central regions of Illinois. There are many members of the General Assembly who we need to thank for their vote in support of a budget for higher education. Today, it's even more important that we give extra appreciation to those individuals who, recognizing the need for a balanced budget that relies on revenue, cast a heroic vote to provide the dollars our students need to help fund their education as well as provide dollars for our 6,000 MAP grant recipients. Effective governance is about making tough decisions and we thank those legislators who stood with SIU, our 30,000 students and 7,000 employees, throughout this budget impasse."

While he supported cutting nearly $3 billion of "bloated government bureaucracy," Rep. Jerry Costello said he did not support permanently increasing the income tax as an additional way of revenue for the state.

"I don't believe that new revenue should come from the pockets of the working class; they simply cannot afford to pay more. Instead of raising taxes on those who need the most financial relief, I would have preferred for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share and for the closure of corporate loopholes in order to provide more revenue for our state," Costello said.

Even with a passed budget, it will be years before the state is back to normal and before it pays off its $15 billion debt.

State Representative Terri Bryant described what happened on Thursday as a step in the right direction. She said that schools, the Illinois Department of Transportation and many other state agencies are now able to start planning their next steps.

However, there were mixed emotions after passing the budget, mostly because of the tax increase, which Bryant said was just what they had to do.

"This was a necessary evil in a sense, that you know that we have to have new revenue but it was also the lesser of all of the evils that have been on the table," she said.

Bryant also talked about the state paying back into its employees' health care premiums, which will get doctors paid in the area. She said it will cause a ripple effect into the economy.

Currently, there is no exact deadline on when things will start being paid out back to the state. State Comptroller Susanna Mendosa said her office will be managing the budget in the best possible way to protect taxpayers.

Bryant and Mendosa both said that moving forward they need to spend funds more wisely than others did before.

The Illinois Lottery announced on Thursday night it would resume sales of Mega Millions tickets. The discussion on Powerball sales continued.

Hazmat situation at IL Capitol

Earlier on Thursday, the Illinois Capitol building was placed on lockdown after a hazmat situation.

The Springfield fire marshal said the powdery substance that prompted the lockdown was collected. A preliminary analysis of the substance showed the material was not hazardous.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office said the investigation is ongoing. He previously said one person was in custody in connection to the incident.

According to Representative Brandon Phelps, he was told that someone threw a white powder at the Governor Bruce Rauner's office door. A hazmat team responded to the scene.

Representative Terri Bryant said she saw a woman being taken out in handcuffs.

Phelps said there are a lot of emergency vehicles in the area.

According to Springfield Fire Marshal Chris Richmond in a press conference, the building was sealed around 1:30 p.m. after the Secretary of State police called in the hazmat team for an incident. No one was allowed in or out of the building for about two hours.

Richmond said there is an active investigation inside of the building but he did not believe anyone inside is in any immediate danger.

He said no one was injured.

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