Illinois Overrides Veto and Passes Budget with a Price

July 6, 2017

Today, the Illinois House of Representatives overrode Governor Rauner’s veto of the budget bill. While it is a relief that we now have a budget for the first time in almost 3 years, it is bittersweet.

Illinoisans face a 1.2% income tax increase and corporate rates went up by 1.75%.

Education is an imperative as is maintaining our infrastructure and providing necessary social services. A budget at least enables things to basically work and the fallout from going even further forward without a budget would have been catastrophic. The interest on our debt would have surged to around 5% and basic, necessary services would have stopped. But we are not out of the woods. Far from it.

We have a short term liquidity issue and a long-term insolvency issue. The budget helped some with the first but not the second. There remains 15 billion in unpaid bills and the special session wrangling and final resolution did not address the humungous pension short fall remains unaddressed.

Illinois needs to begin a robust set of incentives to attract business and generate jobs. A property tax freeze is also a step that would free up consumers, and excite economic activity. And Illinois legislators need to make the hard choices regarding pension obligations.