Democrats to propose 1-month budget for essential services

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state’s most powerful Democrat says the Illinois House will approve a temporary budget to ensure continued services as a new fiscal year starts Wednesday without a spending agreement.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says the $2.3 billion proposal would pay for state police protection, monitoring sex offenders, health care coverage for the poor and disabled and more.
The Chicago Democrat says it’s “another opportunity” for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to avoid a government shutdown.Rauner’s office did not immediately respond to a question about whether the governor would go along.The Democratic-controlled General Assembly and Rauner have been at odds for weeks over a budget.
Democrats want to spend more for “vital” services while Rauner says changes to government structure are needed first.State operations could be disrupted starting Wednesday.

 

Documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show Democrats are considering funding “Tier One” services, including:

  • Probationary spending to pay for GPS tracking of sex offenders
  • Community-based services for the mentally ill.
  • A slew of programs through the Department of Human Services, including addiction treatment, rehab services, child care and home services programs as well as funds for the Illinois School for the Deaf and the Visually Impaired.
  • Medicaid money
  • DCFS funding for group homes, foster care and protective services

Sources with knowledge of the matter say Democrats are calling a Wednesday vote on a one-month “maintenance bill,” that would allow money to flow to some vital services since the state moves into a new fiscal year at midnight with no operating budget.

Gov. Bruce Rauner last week vetoed the bulk of the budget bills sent to him by Democrats. A supermajority of votes are needed in both chambers to approve a temporary spending measure. One Democratic insider described the likelihood of it passing as “strong.”

Rauner has said he would veto a temporary budget. While leaving a House Republican caucus on Tuesday, Rauner would not comment on a temporary budget bill. Earlier in the day, Rauner vowed to “do everything we can to minimize the disruption right now.”