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Illinois General Assembly passes budget

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 6:59 p.m. CDT

The Illinois General Assembly passed an estimated $35 billion budget package Friday that would not require the income tax increase to become permanent.

However, the budget is an increase over last year’s spending, as well as an increase over a resolution passed by the House earlier in the year, estimating revenue of $34.49 billion.

To cover the increases in spending, the budget requires approximately $650 million in “inter-fund borrowing,” money taken from state funds to cover general spending.

Republican state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, who has an office in South Elgin, said the budget relies on revenue that does not exist. 

“Every spring we watch the most important issue in the state, the budget, be held until the last minute,” said McConnaugnay in a statement. “And every year we see a budget passed that is full of pet projects, new programs and fails to address the fundamental issues with Illinois’ economy.”

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said he could not support a $35 billion budget passed by the Illinois Senate on May 30 because it increases spending and relies on one-time revenues and other "fiscal gimmickry," according to a statement.

“In 2011, during a dead-of-night, lame-duck session, Democrat legislative leaders shafted  Illinois taxpayers and now lack the courage to face up to the consequences, relying instead on the fiscal gimmickry of one-time revenue sources that only compound the problem down the road. To make matters worse, they also increase spending,” Oberweis said.

"The fact is this is not a perfect budget; it’s incomplete, but it’s decisive,” state Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, a Senate sponsor of the budget, said in a statement. “I think it’s very transparent … . We’ve acknowledged very clearly the challenges we face before us and the steps that we took today that were necessary to live within the means already provided by taxpayers to make sure we fund key priorities – in education, early childhood education, in MAP grants, but also maintaining level spending.” 

• The Kane County Chronicle contributed to this report.

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