Eight days into the special session
Gov. Bruce Rauner called with the intent of passing a state budget, Illinois
lawmakers have spent just 122 minutes actually in special session. The state is
still without a budget.
The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate adjourned from the eighth day
of special session after less than 12 total minutes between the two chambers.
The Senate adjourned after only six minutes and 38 seconds. The House gaveled
out of special session after five minutes and five seconds. The previous two
days of special session saw the two chambers together work less than 11 minutes
With each day of special session costing taxpayers about an additional $50,000,
according to an estimate from the Chicago Tribune, the special session has run
taxpayers around $400,000, or about $3,280 for each minute the House and Senate
The special session lasts through June 30, when the current fiscal year expires.
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Both parties claim to want a compromise on a budget
to prevent Illinois from becoming the first state with a junk credit
rating. However, Democrats and Republicans alike have proposed plans
to raise taxes by more than $5 billion, which would increase the
average Illinois household’s tax burden by $1,125 each year. But
Illinoisans have expressed that they don’t want a budget that hikes
Nearly two-thirds of likely Illinois voters don’t
want an income tax hike as part of the state budget, according to
polling conducted by Fabrizio, Lee & Associates and commissioned by
the Illinois Policy Institute. More than three-quarters of
respondents oppose hiking sales taxes. And nearly 80 percent agree
“Illinois state lawmakers should pass major structural reforms
before passing any tax increase.”
The Illinois Policy Institute has introduced a budget proposal that
offers real reform without raising taxes. This kind of
reform-minded, no-tax-hike proposal is in line with what Illinoisans
want. Lawmakers should use that as a framework while taxpayers pay
for their costly special session.
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