While a $34 billion budget passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday evening, the debate was so partisan that State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale, pictured) made up a word. “The whole budget package is … ‘Blagojevochian.’” The Republicans’ chief “budgeteer” in the Senate, Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), says the Senate Democrats’ plan calls for more spending than a House plan and the governor’s proposal, too.
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He says the spending is so out of control that the two percentage point increase the legislature passed in 2011 will have to become permanent. State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), a budget sponsor, said that would take an affirmative vote on a new bill. Steans, like other Senate Democrats, is unimpressed with the minority party’s complaints: “We’d ask for the Senate Republicans to develop a budget proposal … instead of worrying just about a revenue number in Fiscal Year (2016).” The House is working on a budget plan of its own. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 31. The state’s new fiscal year starts July 1.
Three bills comprise the Senate’s version of the budget: