Fixing the state budget passed last year likely won’t be the first order of business for the new General Assembly. Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said the budget for the current fiscal year has a large shortfall, and he expects the legislature to ask for a supplemental appropriation of about $760 million.
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says lawmakers should wait until Rauner’s budget team makes its own recommendations before asking for more funds.
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“It will have to be relatively soon,” Radogno said. “Now, remember, we still have half the fiscal year to do. There’s still tax receipts coming in, so it’s not as if the tank’s completely on empty. The question is: how much do we have left, and how well can the governor manage it?”
Whether that means another hike in the income tax rate, which fell to 3.75 percent on Jan. 1, Radogno says she “wants to remain flexible.” Her preference is to keep it at that rate.
Due to the problems Rauner has discussed with last year’s budget, several state agencies may be low on money sometime in mid-February, right around the time Rauner is scheduled to deliver his first budget address.