Illinois lawmakers react to state financial crisis

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois-- For the first time in more than 2 years Illinois has passed a budget.

But as lawmakers return to their districts they still have mixed feelings.

Freshman republican representative Tony McCombie says it's been an emotional journey for lawmakers on and off the house floor.

"There was anger, there was crying, there was terrible things being said," said McCombie.

McCombie voted against the spending plan and said no to overriding Governor Bruce Rauner's veto.

"I don’t think it’s fair to continue to ask us as taxpayers to pay for mistakes that have been happening in Illinois for years for decades," says Mccombie.

Seventy-one house representatives voted to override Rauner's veto. That led to the 36 billion dollar spending budget and a  5 billion dollar tax increase.

But  McCombie says the tax increase will do nothing for the $15 million dollar the state owes in overdue bills.

The Illinois income tax increase will rise from %3.75 to %4.95.

Other state representatives worried that if a budget didn't get passed, it would send the state to junk bond status.

It was a tough choice for Democrat representative Mike Halpin. He intially didn't support his own party's spending plan and increasing taxes.

"After hearing the floor debates from both Democrats and Republicans trying to help the state I decided that an imperfect budget is better than no budget at all," says Halpin.
When it came to override the governors veto, Halpin and four other lawmakers flipped and voted yes.

"Over the past three days we’ve heard from not only constituents here, but our colleges and universities in danger of going under, we’ve heard from he bond rating agency say that it’s almost a guarantee that we’re gonna go to junk bond status if we don’t do anything," says Halpin

Both lawmakers agree that even with the budget passed, Illinois still has a long way to go.