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Deadline Looms for Ill. Budget

(KWMU photo)
(KWMU photo)

By IL Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – Today (Monday) is the deadline for Illinois lawmakers to approve a state budget.

However, it appears the fiscal battle could stretch into overtime - in part because of an impasse over some parts of the spending plan.

Negotiators have drafted a possible budget for leaders to review, most spending would be kept at current year levels. The governor was left out of the process this weekend.

The plan would spend more on schools and Medicaid, though.

Contention is with gambling. Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) wants is still pushing for new casinos to help raise money for the state.

But Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin) says that means the impasse continues. "I've never seen such chaos or such a vacuum of leadership," Rauschenberger said.

"You've got Governor 'I don't want to come to work' and a Senate President who's hooked on gaming. We're supposed to do a budget."

Democrats control the Legislature, but Republican votes would needed to protect a budget from any potential changes by the governor.

Illinois faces a $2 billion deficit.