The holiday weekend is an abbreviated one for members of the Illinois General Assembly, with much work behind the scenes and some in front of the scenes, too. In a year marked by debates over pensions, weapons, and same-sex marriage, don't forget the $35 billion matter known as the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. A longtime House budget expert says to expect something soon.
“This year the appropriations chairmen have been doing their own negotiations and been doing very well. We have five House appropriations chairs ... they're actually negotiating amongst the members,” says State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley). “House Democrats are meeting with the Senate Democrats on some final proposals, (which) we should see in a couple of days.”
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The General Assembly is to adjourn May 31. Bills passed after that date require a three-fifths supermajority.
Mautino says with the “April surprise” of some taxpayers pre-paying next year in anticipation of federal tax law changes, the money available for K-12 education should be the same as in the current fiscal year.