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House Budget Vote Today: 'A Moment Of Truth'

State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, briefs reports on the House Democratic budget plan earlier this week.
Brian Mackey
/
NPR Illinois
State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, briefs reports on the House Democratic budget plan earlier this week.

Democrats in the Illinois House say they’ll try to pass a state budget Friday. They say their plan is balanced — with spending cuts and tax increases.

The Democratic budget vote has been scheduled after a week’s worth of negotiations on both spending and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s political and economic agenda.

Republicans and Democrats say they’ve been making progress, but they haven’t come to an agreement yet.

Nevertheless, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says Illinois is "peering into the darkness," and calls Friday's scheduled votes "a moment of truth."

“We have a balanced budget. It is up on the board. It has come from the Senate. It is ready to go to the governor’s signature," Harris says. "People will be watching what we do tomorrow. We have a chance to save this state, and I hope we don’t squander it.”

If the spending bill and tax increases fail to pass, Democrats have a backup plan to vote on a series of emergency spending bills. The problem is, without higher tax revenue, Illinois won’t have enough money to make good on those commitments.

Illinois is less than 24 hours from beginning a third straight year without a budget.

Rauner says he’ll keep calling special sessions until legislators pass a balanced budget.

Copyright 2020 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Brian Mackey
Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He now hosts the Illinois Public Radio program The 21st.