According to the Commercial News, Illinois Democrats touted Thursday what they called a compromise over the budget impasse with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. But the plan they pushed through the House had no GOP support, and debate devolved into a heated exchange over a completely separate issue.
Lawmakers, who left town Sunday after approving a budget as much as $4 billion short on funds, returned to take up changes in workers’ compensation, one of the issues the first-term executive says is a must before he’ll discuss a tax increase to close the deficit. Rauner, however, had already dismissed the proposed changes as not as comprehensive as necessary. House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Democrats adopted the plan on a party-line vote.
But it wasn’t workers’ compensation that sparked a scorching verbal volley at day’s end. It was a Rauner aide’s comments to lawmakers who earlier in the day questioned him about how Rauner is paying his $250,000-a-year education secretary.
According to the Commercial News, The Illinois Senate will consider a proposed property tax freeze when the chamber reconvenes for the first time since the regular legislative session ended May 31.
Democratic Senate President John Cullerton announced Friday the entire Senate will hear testimony on the issue Tuesday.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he won’t approve a 2016 budget Democrats passed last month until legislators pass some of his pro-business agenda. That includes a property tax freeze.
Senate Democrats already have rejected Rauner-backed legislation that would permanently freeze property taxes and require voter approval to increase them. Democrats say the plan would hurt schools that rely on property taxes.
Majority Democrats also have scheduled a hearing on Rauner’s proposed cuts to a program that helps senior citizens and low-income residents pay their utility bills.
According to the Commercial News, Happy hour drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s, but they could make a comeback under a measure that’s awaiting the governor’s signature.
The bill would restrict specials to four hours a day and no happy hour deals after 10 p.m. The measure has passed the state House and Senate and now needs the approval of Gov. Bruce Rauner for it to become law.
A representative with Rauner’s office told the News-Gazette and The Associated Press that he’ll “carefully consider” any legislation that’s sent to him.
Supporters say the change will produce more tax revenue for state and local governments through increased alcohol sales.
The happy hour specials were outlawed in 1989 over concerns about excessive drinking and drunk driving.
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June 4th, 2015