The immediate budget problems in Illinois are resulting in a Senate Democrat fund-sweep plan which Republicans deride as half-hearted. Touting a bill to free up more than $500 million to pay for child care subsidies and other state programs between now and the June 30 conclusion of the fiscal year, State Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) says, “This is a step forward in the right direction. It's not a total solution, but it moves the ball forward and makes sure we have the revenue necessary.”
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“It's a stunt,” retorts State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine). “The negotiation process is ongoing. This looks like an attempt to blame the governor for a problem that was not of his making.” Murphy says the Senate Democrats are going “rogue” with a plan which does not even have the approval of the House Speaker.
Kotowski is targeting dedicated funds with excess balances and no immediate expenses, saying those funds benefit “special interests” and should not have special protection. Social service providers have been sounding alarms since the state's income tax rate dropped from five percent to 3.75 percent Jan. 1.
SB 274 has passed the Senate Appropriations I Committee.