Workers comp reform provisions left out of approved IL budget

Workers comp reform provisions left out of approved IL budget

Workers comp reform provisions left out of approved IL budget

The powder turned out to be harmless, the House gave final passage to the spending plan - and a joke on Twitter captured just what a contentious two years it's been in Springfield.

In a statement emailed to Mic, Southern Illinois University president Randy Dunn said passing the budget on Thursday was a "tough decision" necessary to "effective governance".

But after the budget was approved, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan acknowledged the Republicans who voted to override the vetoes.

Supporters of the tax increase said it would help bring financial stability to the state.

- IL would continue to not tax retirement income and would continue to not levy a sales tax on services. Individuals will pay 4.95 percent, up from 3.75 percent.

The move means schools, state vendors and other obligations that have been shorted by the lack of a budget can start counting on their checks again. "Illinois now has unfunded pension liability of over $100 billion".

In a rebuke to Rauner, a political newcomer and a Republican in a state filled with Democrats, members of the House revived Senate Bill 9, a revenue bill raising $5 billion through a permanent income tax increase.

"The people in this chamber did not do what was easy today", Madigan said. "It was either override his veto, or we go off into a financial catastrophe for our state, and go to junk bond status".

This screenshot of video from WGN via CNN shows a woman being arrested in the Illinois State Capitol. She is accused of throwing a powdery substance in the governor's office on Thursday
1 Person Arrested For Suspicious Powder Situation At IL Capitol

Detractors point out that the new IL corporate tax will go from 5.25 to 7 percent - which, with the additional 2.5 percent personal property replacement tax that's assessed on IL corporations, will give the state one of the highest effective corporate tax rates in the country. Those include a statewide property tax freeze, cost-cutting restrictions on compensation for injured workers, changes to pension benefits for state employees, and reforms making it easier for voters to merge or eliminate local governing bodies. Even before last week's hikes, the state was consistently listed among the top 10 in America in terms of aggregate tax burden. That's remains a possibility, with Moody's Investors Service saying this week that it has placed the state on watch for a potential downgrade.

Cash-starved IL enacted its first budget since 2015 after the House voted on Thursday to override Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of the plan. He predicted the tax hike will "force another tax hike in the near future" because the "tax-and-spend plan is not balanced, does not cut enough spending or pay down enough debt, and does not help grow jobs or restore confidence in government".

The good news is the end of the budget standoff could ease pressure on social services and public colleges that rely on state funding.

The Ounce of Prevention Fund, an early childhood education foundation run by Diana Rauner, put out a statement earlier this week urging IL lawmakers to override her husband's veto.

- The existing $15 billion backlog of unpaid state bills could be reduced by as much as $8 billion through use of the budget surplus, another "sweep" of special state funds and borrowing. Among them was Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur, who already has been targeted by the Illinois Republican Party.

IL government begins Friday with its first full-fledged budget plan in more than two years.

That's a recipe for more people and businesses leaving the state.

One side effect of the House votes is resumption of sales of Mega Millions and Powerball lottery tickets by the Illinois State Lottery. Two agencies gave IL some breathing room Monday after House votes over the weekend.

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