Despite no budget, Illinois House has spent only six hours in May session

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MOLINE - Six hours, that's how much time the Illinois House has formally spent in session so far in May.

"It's ridiculous," said Illinois resident, Kathy Nobiling.

You would think lawmakers would be working non-stop, considering the state is going on two years without a budget.

The Illinois Policy Institute is a government watchdog group. It looked into the hours and while some work has been done behind closed doors or in committees in Springfield, the group says it's not enough.

"They can have lots of closed doors meetings, they can have lots of debate, but in the end, you know we need to see the action, the action of a budget," said Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute.

Whether they're in session or not, lawmakers are still getting paid.

"We pay them a lot of money to be there, you know on average they earned over 100,000 a year," said Dabrowski.

While lawmakers didn't have time to meet more than six hours, they had time to play a game of softball in the annual House vs. State softball game.

"It`s okay for them to play baseball and basketball, that`s okay, I think what`s not okay is they only found six hours to be together, to debate the big problems in our state," said Dabrowski.

Taxpayers we talked with say it's a slap in their face and as another deadline looms, they're not too hopeful a budget will be passed.

"I doubt it, I don`t have confidence in that," said Joe Nobiling.

Budget deals are usually worked out in the 11th hour. Lawmakers says they'll be working through the end of session, including Memorial Day.


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