Illinois House undercuts Quinn budget proposal by approving even
lower revenue estimate
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[March 03, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- The Illinois House
set an upper limit Thursday on how much money the state could spend
next year, but officials warn actual spending could be much lower
and require lawmakers to show remarkable "political courage."
House members overwhelmingly approved an official revenue estimate
of $33.7 billion. That's about $200 million below the estimate from
Gov. Pat Quinn's office.
House leaders say they want to be more
conservative about the troubled state budget.
The revenue estimate, which amounts to an upper limit on what
Illinois could spend next year, is actually about half a billion
above last year's legislative estimate. But House Minority Leader
Tom Cross says that after some of the money is used for pensions,
old bills and other expenses, actual spending on new services could
"If we're going to balance this budget, we're going to have to
face the reality of the situation," said Cross, R-Oswego. "It may
take as much political courage as you have ever had to demonstrate."
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, urged lawmakers to
support the revenue cap, which will be followed later by legislation
spelling out exactly how much the General Assembly wants to spend.
Cross said this revenue estimate was produced in conjunction with
the state Senate, so there should be little friction between the two
chambers over what Illinois can spend in the budget year starting
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The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Christine Radogno of
Lemont, said she will sponsor the revenue resolution in her chamber.
"The most difficult part of our work will be reaching consensus on
how much the state should spend and where," Radogno added.
The resolution is
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