Illinois House approves new state budget by 97-18 margin

Il. Rep. Tom Demmer, (R) Dixon, says new budget offers a realistic and workable plan on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

For the first time in more than three years, Illinois lawmakers are delivering a budget on time.

The Illinois House voted 97-18 to approve a new state budget on Thursday, May 31, which is the final day for the General Assembly.

Il. Rep. Tom Demmer, (R) Dixon, praised the $38.5 billion deal as a realistic, workable plan.

“It shows a true sense of bipartisan support,” he said.

The deal doesn’t please everyone, though.

Il. Rep. Jeanne Ives, (R) Wheaton, was among the 18 to vote ‘No.’

“They’re trying to keep you in the dark and are succeeding,” she said.  “I’m here to be the  truth-teller.”

Among other things, it delivers an additional $350 million to K-12 and hikes higher education funding by 2%.

It also will pay more than $6 million in back wages to AFSCME members.

The new budget also introduces a voluntary pension buyout.

“Look what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said Il. Rep. Jim Durkin, (R) Minority Leader.  “Don’t lose sight of that. There are bigger tasks ahead.”

The Illinois Senate approved the budget on Wednesday.  It now moves to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is expected to sign it.