Illinois Hustling To Dodge Threat of Junk Bond Rating

In a stunning turnabout from the partisan divisions that has kept IL without a budget for the past two years, Republicans joined with Democrats to pass $5 billion in new taxes, along with a $36 billion budget.

House Bill 1811 increases 911 fees for the state to $1.50 from $0.87 and will allow Chicago to increase its 911 fees to $5 per month per line from $3.90. He also said in an emailed statement that "if the legislature is willing to pass the largest tax hike in state history with no reforms, then we must engage citizens and redouble our efforts to change the state".

Gov. Bruce Rauner immediately promised to veto what he dubbed "Madigan's" tax hike-a hit at his political nemesis, longtime Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chair Michael Madigan. "It's a repeat of the failed policies that created this financial crisis and caused jobs and taxpayers to flee" Rauner said in a statement.

But Democrats didn't pass the plan alone.

Despite those objections, the legislation passed on a vote of 72-45.

However, the Senate is scheduled to return to Springfield Monday. They say their plan is balanced - with spending cuts and tax increases. The annual deficit stands at around $6.2 billion now.

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IL also has a net deficit of about $130 billion, mostly in money owed to public employees for retirement, according to the state's comptroller. That's the highest yield of all 22 states that Bloomberg tracks.

Social services that rely on state money have also been crippled, including mental health service, Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors and domestic violence support centers. "Enacting a budget that sets the state on a path toward budgetary balance" would stabilize the state's ratings, the agency said. "As someone who's on the right, who's a fiscal conservative, we can't have vendors - mom and pop places - be asked to do services for the state of IL". The plan will need another vote for final House approval.

"Let's do what's right for the taxpayers of this state", McSweeney said. The spending plan won passage in a 81-34 vote.

"I would say it is a setback in the negotiations and the reforms and bringing an end to this impasse", said Leader Jim Durkin R-Burr Ridge.

Moody's is closed through the July 4 holiday. Members include Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva), Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), John Cavaletto (R-Salem), C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), David Harris (R-Mount Prospect), Chad Hays (R-Catlin), Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth), Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston), Robert Pritchard ( R-Hinckley), Mike Unes (R-East Peoria), Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), and David Reis (R-Olney).

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