Lawmakers head to Springfield for special session in hopes to pass a state budget

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Illinois budget (MGN)

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Today lawmakers head back to Springfield and will have 10 days to try and pass a full budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s prepared to sign the republican spending plan put out last week but the two sides are divided over taxes.

The governor wants a property tax freeze. to balance out an income tax hike proposed by democrats. It calls for a four-year property tax freeze, term limits and changes for an income tax increase that expires after four years. But democrats aren’t buying it.

Our local representatives, Republican Tony McCombie and Democrat Mike Halpin say they are hopeful for a budget this time around because the General Assembly cannot override a veto from the Governor.

State Representative Mike Halpin says he`s concerned about the tax increase.

“It was part of the senate’s plan, now the Governor and the sponsors have that included as well. For a lot of poor and middle-class families that is going to be a deal breaker for me,” said Halpin.

While State Representative Tony McCombie says the budget crisis has made her rethink her stance on borrowing money.

“You’re of course going to have to borrow, you’re going to have to borrow some money. You’re going to have to figure out how you’re going to have to pay those bills back,” said McCombie.

The state’s backlog of unpaid bills has topped 14-billion dollars.

Last year lawmakers agreed to a short-term spending plan but Republicans said they won’t agree to one this time around.

The new fiscal year starts July 1st and if a deal isn`t reached, Illinois will wind up without a budget for a third year in a row – the longest stalemate ever endured by a U.S. state.

Credit rating agencies have also threated to down grade the state’s rating to “junk” without a budget.