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Illinois Democrats eyeing budget plan to appease Gov. Rauner; lottery threatens to withhold payouts

The Illinois Capitol in Springfield
Flickr | jglazer75
The Illinois Capitol in Springfield

Illinois lawmakers are looking at a Democrat-pushed budget plan that would raise income taxes and make steep spending cuts as a way to end the budget impasse.

Already, the state has been without a spending plan for two years, and the next fiscal year begins Saturday.

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Tuesday after a meeting between Democratic and Republican leaders that the House Democrats' plan is similar to what the Senate passed in May. It would raise about $5 billion through an income tax increase and cut more than $3 billion in spending.

Republican leaders didn't immediately comment on the plan.

Meanwhile, lottery players who win jackpots over $25,000 won't receive the money if no budget is passed this week. In 2015, when the budget impasse began, lottery players sued over the same type of withholding and the state lost millions of dollars in lost sales until the legislature agreed to let the lottery make payouts.

State lottery officials already have said that the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions games have threatened to leave if Illinois can't come up with a budget.