SPRINGFIELD, Ill. â The Illinois Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Raunerâs vetoes of a $36Â billion budget package Tuesday, including a $5Â billion tax increase designed to start digging out of the nationâs longest budget crisis since at least the Great Depression.
The Democratic-controlled chamber completed its work within 30 minutes of the Republican governorâs vetoes, sending the package back to the House for an override vote that would give Illinois its first annual budget since 2015.
The House did not plan to take up the action Tuesday.
âThe package of legislation fails to address Illinoisâ fiscal and economic crisis â and in fact, makes it worse in the long run,â the first-term governor wrote after his veto of the tax-increase bill. âIt does not balance the budget. It does not make nearly sufficient spending reductions.â
Rauner acted about three hours after the Senate voted to hike the personal income-tax rate by 32Â percent, from 3.75Â percent to just under 5Â percent. Corporations would pay 7Â percent instead of just over 5Â percent.
âWe are at a moment in time. We are faced today with the fierce urgency of now,â said the tax-increase legislationâs sponsor, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D) of Olympia Fields. âWe donât have any more time. And too late is not good enough.â
The House approved the tax increase with 72 votes Sunday, one more than necessary, with the help of 15 Republicans. Whether they will continue to defy Rauner remains to be seen. House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) told WICS-TV that there would be no House action Tuesday.
Rauner promised to veto the tax measure because Democrats who control the General Assembly have not agreed to resolve his pet issues, including statewide property-tax relief, cost reductions in workersâ compensation and benefits for state-employee pensions, and an easier process for dissolving or eliminating local governments.
âItâs regrettable that I stand here today not capable of being able to support this package, not because whatâs in the package is bad but because itâs incomplete,â said the Senateâs newly minted minority leader, Bill Brady (R) of Bloomington. âWe need a comprehensive budget package with reforms.â
If Rauner does not like the tax plan, the financial world does. On Monday, two of the nationâs top credit-ratings agencies signaled it would be a good idea for Rauner to accept the results. Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, having earlier threatened to move Illinoisâ creditworthiness into âjunkâ status without swift action to approve a budget, smiled favorably on the financial outlook.
Democrats and Republicans have negotiated the issues that Rauner considers outstanding in the two weeks since the special session began. But the GOP claims talks broke down over the weekend in advance of Madigan calling the budget votes. Madigan said Monday that those talks were ongoing.
âWeâll continue to work with the Republicans on those issues until theyâre resolved,â Madigan said.
â Associated Press