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Bipartisan Budget Plan Passes ... But Only For Federal Passthrough

Amanda Vinicky
WUIS / Illinois Issues

  The governor and Democratic legislators yesterday came to a budget agreement, but only a minor one. A broader stalemate continues.

Anything to do with state spending this year has pretty much been split down party lines. Democrats passed a spending plan, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed almost all of it. That's what has Illinois into its second month without a budget. Then, yesterday, a thaw. Senators -- from both parties -- voted to spend $5 billion dollars, of federal money; the state just serves as a pass through.

Democratic Sen. Steve Stadelman, who's from the Rockford area, says it's common sense, because without the authorization, the money would otherwise just sit there.

"Anytime you have people agreeing on an issue, that's a good omen. But is it a sign that a resolution of the bigger budget pictures are on the horizon? I doubt it. I think there are bigger issues we have to deal with," he said. "But this is, you know, a good chunk of money, $5 billion, and I think will alleviate a lot of stress and pain that could be cause if funding is not there. So if both sides are in agreement, that's a step forward. You take a victory whenever you can get one."

A spokesman for the governor says Rauner supports the spending plan. It funds food banks, some veterans' services, and meals for the elderly.

Now, it goes to the House; a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the chamber will consider it next week.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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