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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Senate's Temporary Spending Plan Fails In House

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State of Illinois
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Not only are Illinois legislators unable to agree on a new state budget, they're at odds over what to do in the short term, too. 

The Illinois Senate Wednesday passed a spending plan that'd cover the state for July, but it failed in the House by four votes.

Democrat Lou Lang says that will have consequences for those who rely on state funds.

“People will die as a result of our failure to have a budget and that rests at the governor’s feet,” Lang said.

But Republican Leader Jim Durkin says the majority Democrats wanted the bill to fail - so they can score political points with voters.

“If they really wanted to pass anything, they find a way to do it,” Durkin said.

Democrats call the $2 billion spending plan bare bones, narrow, a budget for only "essential services."

Republican Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon says programs were cherry-picked -- leaving out important services like domestic violence support, The Autism Program and early childhood intervention.

"The only way we can protect all the vulnerable citizens is to pass a responsible, comprehensive budget that deals with the entire year and not simply one and that looks at a very narrow slice of state services and provides very unstable funding for the next month or so," Demmer said.

But Democrats say it's important that Illinois not shut the door on foster care children ... the elderly ... and those with addiction problems.

Republicans says it's an attempt to lock the governor into eventually agreeing to a tax hike.

Sen. Iris Martinez, of Chicago and other Democrats say the emergency action makes sure seniors, kids with epilepsy, and individuals with developmental disabilities are protected while the stalemate in Springfield continues.

"This is basic care that's needed. Anyone voting against this bill today is voting against every person out that that needs government assistance."

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield next week.

In the meantime - agencies are in a holding pattern for what support they’ll be getting from the state - if any.

  • WBEZ's Tony Arnold and WUIS's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.