Illi­nois House OKs bud­get, ends im­passe

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

SPRING­FIELD, Ill. — The Illi­nois House voted Thurs­day to over­ride Gov. Bruce Rauner’s ve­toes of a bud­get pack­age, giv­ing the state its first spend­ing blue­print in more than two years and end­ing a lengthy fis­cal stale­mate.

Law­mak­ers have been meet­ing in a spe­cial ses­sion called pre­cisely to deal with the bud­get.

The bud­get is retroac­tive from Satur­day — the July 1 start of the fis­cal year. That’s the date a per­ma­nent 32 per­cent in­come-tax in­crease takes ef­fect. In­di­vid­u­als will pay 4.95 per­cent in­stead of 3.75 per­cent. The cor­po­rate rate jumps to 7 per­cent from 5.25 per­cent.

Rauner ve­toed the mea­sures be­cause he sees no in­di­ca­tion that the Demo­cratic-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture will send him the “struc­tural” changes he’s de­manded. Those in­clude a statewide prop­erty tax freeze, cost-cut­ting re­stric­tions on com­pen­sa­tion for in­jured work­ers, changes to pen­sion ben­e­fits for state em­ploy­ees, and changes mak­ing it eas­ier for vot­ers to merge or elim­i­nate lo­cal gov­ern­ing bod­ies.

The end of the stand­off, which en­tered a third fis­cal year Satur­day, comes as the state faces a $6.2 bil­lion an­nual deficit and $14.7 bil­lion in over­due bills.

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