A day after parading several injured people to the House floor to demonstrate the effects of workplace injuries, Illinois House members sprung a batch of budget-related bills for votes. “Let’s look at what’s really gone on for 12 years” of Democratic governors, said State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove). “Twelve straight bad budgets. Completely unbalanced. Spending more than we have. And it’s a shame.”
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While the 2015 spring session may not be a typical year, there’s no year in which lawmakers simply run the governor’s budget as proposed. The controlling Democrats bypassed the committee process and put Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed social service cuts into bills which got No votes from Democrats and Present votes from Republicans. A later demonstration, with bills to add money to the budget for programs that serve autism patients and bury the indigent, drew Yes votes from Democrats and Present votes from Republicans.
Games, anyone? Hold on, said one angry Democrat.
“I ask you, who is playing games with autism?” asked State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook). “Back in February, the governor zeroed out $4.3 million from the autism services line. Next, on World Autism Day, he reduced the autism lines by $1 million.”
The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31. A budget bill on the floor after that date requires a three-fifths vote, rather than a simple majority. The fiscal year begins July 1.