State Budget Update

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

The budget impasse in Springfield has state government workers and social service agencies wondering how long they can keep moving forward without fresh dollars.

The new fiscal year began Wednesday with a partial budget veto from Governor Pat Quinn and no spending plan in place. Quinn and lawmakers can't agree on how to wipe out an 11.6 billion dollar deficit that Quinn says has been trimmed to 9.2 billion.

The governor is reportedly spending Friday discussing options with a group of more than two dozen women lawmakers. He's announced that next week he'll outline about one billion dollars in cuts to state government operations. But frustrations are growing as local social service agencies struggle without state funds.

"It's watching three little guys in a sandbox fight over who's got the neatest tool and that's what's happening between Speaker Madigan, Senate President Culligan and Governor Quinn. They can't even agree on what side of the page they're reading and it's impacting local people," says our local state Representative Dave Winters.

Representative Winters and other Republicans are pushing medicaid and pension reforms, instead of Governor Quinn's proposed income tax increase.
Legislative leaders are expected to bring the assembly back to work July 14th. That's one day before the first payroll checks are due to state workers.

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