House Leader: Illinois Budget Veto Vote Thursday | WBEZ
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House Leader: Illinois Budget Veto Vote Thursday

A top House Democrat says lawmakers intend to attempt an override of a budget-package veto in that chamber Thursday.

Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie is deputy majority leader. He says Democrats will attempt to reverse Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the $36 billion spending plan financed with a $5 billion income-tax increase when enough members show up to vote.

The Senate moved swiftly Tuesday to override Rauner's vetoes. That sent them to the House. But fewer than 60 of 118 House members answered roll calls both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lang says he can't answer for all the absences, but he mentioned three cases in which lawmakers are dealing with the death of a family member or friend, and other personal problems.

Lang says "legislators are people too."

The House is expected to meet at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

On Sunday, 15 Republicans broke with Rauner and voted to approve the budget plan. It remains to be seen if those representatives will vote to override the governor’s veto. House Speaker Michael Madigan has said he expects Rauner will attempt to change the minds of the Republicans who joined a 72-vote supermajority.

Rauner vetoed the budget proposal because it doesn't include "structural" changes that he says would boost business and relieve property-taxpayers. Among his demands are a property tax freeze, term limits on state lawmakers and changes to the state's workers' compensation system.

Prior to Rauner’s veto, two credit-ratings agencies chimed in with positive notes on Illinois' financial outlook.

S&P Global Ratings issued a notice Monday that a House vote to raise $5 billion through an income-tax increase "represents a meaningful step toward the enactment of a comprehensive budget." S&P cautioned that even with a budget "it's likely that Illinois' finances would remain strained and vulnerable to unanticipated economic stresses."

Fitch Ratings issued a similar notice Monday morning.

The major credit agencies had warned of a downgrade to "junk" status without swift action.

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