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The Majority Report 07/04/17 - BREAKING: Senate passes balanced budget, overrides governor’s veto

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Sen. President John J. Cullerton

The Senate today brought an end to the chaos Illinois has suffered for two years by passing a balanced budget with bipartisan support and overriding the governor's veto.

Senate President John J. Cullerton said he was disappointed the governor vetoed a balanced budget and said the Senate's work is not done.  

"I look forward to continuing to work with you," he said on the Senate floor. "We will continue to try to put on the governor's desk many of the reforms that he has asked for."

The budget passed in the Senate includes $36 billion in spending for P-12 education, higher education and vital human services that have gone unfunded or underfunded since the budget crisis began. It closes the $5 billion hole in the governor's proposed budget through a combination of revenue and $3 billion in spending cuts.

Senator Toi Hutchinson, an Olympia Fields Democrat and sponsor of the revenue portion of the budget, urged her colleagues to support the plan in a speech on the Senate floor before the vote.

"We are faced with the fierce urgency of now," Hutchinson said. "Right now, in this moment, at this time, on this day, the choice is simple. Either we live to fight another day or we watch the state crash."

View more of Hutchinson's remarks here.

Senator Heather Steans of Chicago, sponsor of the spending portion of the budget, explained the benefits of the balanced budget.

"This budget will ensure that schools open on time, that vulnerable Illinoisans receive the social services they need and that our universities will finally receive funding," Steans said. "It includes revenue and reforms to sustain the state and reduces spending."

The package now moves to the House where a veto override can be voted on as soon as Wednesday.

 


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