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Democrats 'Confident' Of Budget Veto Override

A day after Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois vetoed the state’s first budget plan in two years, the Democrats who control the legislature are plotting when they'll try to override him.

The state Senate overrode the veto in less than an hour on Tuesday. But over in the House, many lawmakers had gone home after Sunday's contentious budget debate.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says it could take some time to get his colleagues back to Springfield.

"I’m quite confident there will be a day — this week, next week, whenever it is — that all members will be here, and we will override the governor’s veto of these bills," Lang said. Credit rating agencies have warned that if Illinois doesn’t pass a budget, its debt would be downgraded to "junk" status.

Sixteen Republican legislators — more than a fifth of those elected — were persuaded to support the income tax increase, including one Republican senator: Dale Righter of Mattoon.

“Every dollar that we throw onto the backlog of bills is another dollar that the next generation has to pay for even though we got to spend it,” he said.

Democrats say they want to continue negotiating with Republicans on some of the governor's legislative priorities, such as reducing the cost to business of workers compensation insurance and mitigating the cost of property taxes to homeowners. But since the budget vote, the Republican legislative leaders have declined to meet with their Democratic counterparts.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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