IL governor offers tax-hike guidance to end stalemate

Chicago school system sues state of Illinois over funding shortfall

"What we just want to see happen is that the governor and legislature can work together to get a budget for the State of IL, we want to see fully funded general state aid", Dosier said.

Governor Bruce Rauner proposed record-level school funding for the upcoming budget. However, as it stands, it would leave a $7 billion hole without matching revenue. Those savings, among others, help reduce the state's total spending to $37.3 billion from the $39.7 billion the Governor's Office of Management and Budget estimated would have resulted in the absence of an official budget.

Some state Democrats criticized the speech for not providing concrete solutions to the state budget crisis.

Meanwhile, Radogno spent part of her morning - before the budget address - in an unusual, closed-door meeting with members of the Democratic majority in the Senate.

The Republican is giving his annual budget address Wednesday, as lawmakers approach two years without agreement on a spending plan.

Skittish lawmakers staring down a Senate tax vote had urged the governor to weigh in.

Among his conditions: a permanent freeze on property taxes statewide, no sales tax on food and drugs, no tax on retirement income, term limits and changes to workers'-compensation rules. State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo says Rauner recognizes how important higher education is to the state. "We heard he plans to spend much more money". Since the 1970s, the sides have played to a political stalemate in the state legislature, which has rejected efforts at a statewide fix to solve the disparity between the haves and the have-nots in IL education. That remark drew laughter from across the chamber. "Over time, as our economy grows and revenues expand, any increase in the income tax could be stepped down - dedicating future surpluses to taxpayers, not more government spending".




He conditioned his support for an income tax hike proposed by Senate leaders to a permanent freeze on local property taxes rather than for two years as the Senate package dictates. The statement says House leadership will focus on continuing to protect middle class families while promoting economic growth.

But the picture is bleak.

Rauner said after combining the state's unfunded pension liability, backlogged bills and other overspending, it's obvious the state's debt is out of control. State pension programs are $130 billion short of what they need to pay promised benefits to retired and current employees.

"When it comes to higher education, we understand the hardship being felt by students who rely on state assistance to go to college", Rauner said.

And if he achieves those cuts, there's still a hole of $4.6 billion.

Both Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois House say worker paychecks should continue and have introduced separate bills seeking to avert a government shutdown if Madigan's motion succeeds.

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