The budget Democrats muscled through the Illinois House Wednesday would spend more money than ever before.
But it is not the first time the Democrat-controlled legislature has spent more than Illinois has.
“What we’re proposing here tonight for the first time in history would spend $40 billion on what (Democrats) concede is just $33 billion in revenue,” state Rep Tom Demmer, R-Rochelle, said.
The $40 billion budget is the latest multi-billion-dollar jump in state spending.
The last budget Illinois lawmakers approved, in 2014, spent $35 billion. Just eight years ago, Illinois spent $30 billion.
“There is no way to pay for this spending plan without a massive tax increase,” state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said. “Unfortunately this state has done nothing to reform our spending. We have not earned the right to new revenue.”
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Numbers from the legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability show Illinois' pension payment has nearly tripled since 2008.
The state's deficit was $834 million in 2008. It’s $11 billion now, and lawmakers said the Democrats’ budget will push it even higher.
“This is absolutely this biggest joke that I've witnessed in my 18 years in Springfield,” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said during the budget debate.
But Democrats are defending the plan.
State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said Illinois hasn't had an approved budget in nearly a year and lawmakers are supposed to wrap up the spring session next week.
“I don't think we can afford to count on compromise,” Currie said. “It didn't work in the current fiscal year and there's no guarantee that it will in the next.”
The $40 billion budget now heads to the Illinois Senate.
Gov, Bruce Rauner is vowing to veto the budget if the spending plan reaches his desk.