With No Budget, Illinois Could Face Shutdown July 1st

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 Springfield - The 99th Illinois General Assembly's spring legislative session has come and gone with no budget put in place for the next fiscal year.

It raises one question.


How did lawmakers get lost on the path to fixing Illinois?

While Republicans and Democrats, both in the House and Senate rarely agree, both sides agree that not playing nicely together was the leading cause.

"That path is being abandoned by many republicans who, I fear, might be lured away by the siren song of governor's campaign cash," said Senate president John Cullerton on Sunday.

In the House, minority leader Jim Durkin said,"it's become very apparent the last week and a half that the democrats have absolutely no desire to participate in good faith with these working groups."

Democrats are calling for a budget that spends more, roughly $36B total, while Tepublicans are looking for reforms and cuts.

With no agreement reached before the Sunday deadline, lawmakers dismissed without a budget in place.

That left the state at risk of a potential shutdown July 1st.

"Nothing bad really happens during the month of the June if you don't have a budget.  If we hit July, then essentially we'll have to start shutting down the state.  The treasurer will be sitting there with payroll due at an agency and there won't be any authorization to write those checks even though the state has money.  Without the authority, the legal authority, to write to spend it then we can't do anything," said political science professor Kent Redfield.

That will leave workers and taxpayers feeling the affects of political bickering.

"People won't get paychecks.  Money that goes to pay for social service, non-profits to provide programs for children.  Those checks won't get written.  A shutdown of state government is going to be felt much more quickly and a much greater extent than a federal shutdown," added Redfield.

The threat of a shutdown only increases the need for a passed budget soon.

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