As budget deadline nears, lawmakers still focused on current budget

SPRINGFIELD — With the legislature set to adjourn in 39 days, the budget discussion is still focused on the current budget, not the one for the next fiscal year.
That ticking clock is starting to worry Democrats, especially since the governor’s proposed budget factors in savings from legislation which hasn’t been introduced yet.
The governor’s budget director, Tim Nuding, says it’s acceptable for savings from the governor’s legislative agenda to be included in the budget plan.
Nuding says if the administration was forced to provide a budget under current law that adhered to existing revenues and existing statute on spending, they would almost by definition have to present lawmakers an unbalanced budget, which would be unconstitutional.
State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) singled out the $2.2 billion in claimed savings from implementing the governor’s pension reform proposal, which even if passed, would likely be challenged in court.
The legislature can and has before passed a budget after May 31, but doing so requires a three-fifths vote in both chambers.