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Defying Rauner, House Ends Budget Impasse

Illinois’ two-year budget impasse is over. The House of Representatives on Thursday overrode the governor's budget veto, giving final approval to a spending plan and tax increase.

After two years of stalemate, more than a dozen Republicans broke with Gov. Bruce Rauner.

They joined Democrats to pass a $5-billion dollar tax increase.

The governor had been holding out for his business-friendly agenda, but some Republicans, like Rep. David Harris, from Arlington Heights, say time’s up.

“We are looking into an abyss — a financial abyss," Harris told his colleagues. "The state is imploding financially."

Illinois isn’t out of danger yet — the state’s racked up $15 billion in unpaid bills.

Lawmakers say their budget is just the beginning of what will be a long recovery.

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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