(Springfield, IL) — February 9, 2010. The primary is over, but the waiting is not for Illinois lawmakers.
The Illinois House and Senate return to Springfield this week, and lawmakers have low expectations. Many legislators say they doubt much of anything will happen during this legislative session.
State Senator Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) said the state is still facing a $13 billion budget deficit. And he said there’s little support for a tax increase or the massive budget cuts it would take to erase the debt.
“There’s not going to be additional revenue. So we’re either going to pass last year’s budget or reduce last year’s budget.”
Bomke said Republicans are already lining-up to oppose Governor Pat Quinn’s tax increase proposal. And he said any tax increase vote will likely have to come from the Illinois House.
State Senator Toi W. Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) said that kind of talk is part of the problem at the Illinois Capitol this year.
“What’s the cost of doing nothing?” said Hutchinson. She said there may be some support for a tax increase this year, but she’s not sure if it will be Quinn’s proposal.
Hutchinson said lawmakers need to put the February primary behind them and focus on the real problems of the state. Even though she’s not sure that can happen.
“If politics were a consideration in February they’re only going to be worse in November” she said.
Lawmakers ended last spring’s session and the fall veto session with a wait-and-see attitude toward the February primary. Many legislators said they didn’t want to vote for a tax increase or large budget cuts then have to face voters on February 2.
But that wait-and-see mood is likely to continue into the spring.
State Rep. Rich Myers (R-Macomb) said Quinn wants to delay his budget address until March and that will delay the rest of the work in Springfield as well.
“To be honest, I think what we’re hearing it’s going to be the same as in the past.”
Myers said he doesn’t believe the governor will find support for his 50 percent tax increase unless there is a serious effort to trim the state budget first.
“I’m not saying a tax increase couldn’t pass. But there are a lot of people out there on both sides of the aisle who’d like to see some spending reforms before a tax increase is passed.”
State Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan) said the state needs to pay its bills before it looks at spending cuts.
“As far [back] as six months they have not paid my medical bills. I’m starting to get threatening bill collector notices…So something has to be done there.”
Verschoore said he’s willing to wait to see what Quinn is proposing before starting to work on the budget. But he’s all but ruling out a tax increase. Verschoore said he doesn’t see how the governor can get a tax hike through the General Assembly.
–Benjamin Yount, Illinois Statehouse News
About the free cab rides home Saturday March 13th, Why? We could use that money for so many other things including education, deputies and special education programs. I am upset for a few reasons, one I was a single mom and always paid my dues and helped out the public school system,I was pretty much denied welfare. I recieved food stamps and medicaid for a brief stent when my husband came home from iraq and didnt have a job but after only a few months lost the help. Two, my daughter has gone to private schools for the last 9 years but my property taxes still have gone up and I have paid them, Three, I donate whenever I can. I am one person working three jobs to get by and struggle myself, but when is enough enough? I am just upset because I had a dui in 2000, I paid my dues and learned my lesson, I dont ever want anyone to be hurt by a drunk driver but dont make it easy for drunks. I think if the bars were more monitored the drunk driving would be cut down and dues would be paid, I know people that did it back when I got mine and still do it. Put fear in people, like me I was terrified and learned my lesson and paid every penny on my own, and it would maybe simmer down, plus the state would make a little money off of it. I work in the school system and it is so hard these days, behaviors are out of control and learning has gone down. Make parents responsible for their kids. Don’t put so much on the state to cover especially when so many already recieve state funds (welfare). Why does the school system have to be responsible for breakfast when parents are funded for this? I guess convenience. Why are we so responsible for disipline? Oh yeah why should the parents be? My thought is there are so many people already living off of the system the least they could do is their job, be a parent. I am just saying I think too many people abuse the welfare system, how many can work? How many try? How many want too? I understand helping those who need it like I did, but was thrown out, and people who try? But the ones that live off of it year after year, and have kid after kid ( more money) please just look into it. I know people that have cheated it and I have tried to call it in and was told we are short staffed what do you want us to do about it? Well maybe look into it it would save millions maybe more.I am a hard worker and pay all my taxes and would rather have a school district and deputies patrolling to make me safe than free cab rides home so everyone can get drunk, and welfare for people to live better than I do and be less responsible as a parent than they should be. Please reform welfare.Posted by Lynn Heimberger | March 11, 2010, 10:48 PM
Dear Representative Verschoore
As a nation, we have 13,000,000 illegal aliens. My question to you is why haven’t you tried to defend this country and reduce the number of illegal immigrants that are here? Why haven’t you defended Arizona’s right to protect their legal citizens and seal their border with Mexico? You and you party down play the fact that these illegal immigrants broke the law to get and should have no rights except to be returned with their children to their country of origin unharmed. You have ceased to be an American.
William C KirkhamPosted by William C Kirkham | July 6, 2010, 6:54 PM
1315 Second Street South
Cordova Illinois 61242