Lawmakers spent a lot of time this spring dictating exactly what the state could spend in which areas, but it’s possible they’ll give that allocation power back to the governor. The governor threatened months ago to shutter prisons, schools and mental health facilities due to lack of funding. The General Assembly could allow him to move money from other areas to prevent those closures under what’s called a “lump sum” budget.
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State Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) isn’t sure if that’s what will happen, but he doesn’t like it. “I would much rather do a line-item budget,” he says. “As I said here [in committee], I would like to see the budget allocation pass before any tax package passes.” Mautino was referring to a tax incentives package largely aimed at keeping the CME Group and Sears in Illinois, as well as increasing the earned income tax credit, estate tax exemptions and various incentives for small businesses. Mautino says job losses in Chicago with the loss of CME would equal the amount of people losing their jobs Downstate due to facility closures.