Jesiel: The House’s Action Today is Outrageous and Isn’t Compromise
on Thursday, March 03, 2016
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Democratic Leaders again sought to pass legislation that would not end the budget crisis, but worsen it. The legislation offered, House Bills 2990 and 648, would add $2.4 billion to Illinois’ ever growing budget deficit. Despite a Republican motion to adjourn and return the next the day, session was then quickly adjourned by the Democratic Chair for the rest of the month, until April 4. The motion to continue session on Friday was ruled out order by the Chair, a direct violation of House Rule 66.
“The action in the House today was the most outrageous yet seen since the budget impasse started, even after the hyperbole of yesterday,” said Jesiel. “The bills offered today were put together at the last minute with no input from the Governor or any Republican. The $2.4 billion dollars that House Bills 2990 and 648 would add to our deficit is ridiculous when weighed against the 50,000 unpaid vouchers and backlog of $7.2 billion already sitting on the Comptroller’s desk.”
Jesiel went on, “It doesn’t matter how many appropriation bills the Democrats bring to the floor, we don’t have any money to fund them and they clearly don’t have the courage to pass a tax increase to meet their own demands. They have the numbers to override a veto by the Governor, but they won’t do it. Every single question on how we would get the money to pay for the spending increases was dodged one after another.”
“Anyone who suggests today’s action wasn’t premeditated solely for the purpose of making the Speaker’s opponents look bad isn’t looking at it objectively. A high school consumer education student learns on day one that you can’t spend more money than you have in your pocket.”
Jesiel concluded by saying, “However, the most insulting part of the day was having a motion to adjourn and return tomorrow ruled out of order. The Speaker’s very own rules of order contradict that move, but apparently the law doesn’t apply if Democratic Leaders don’t like it.”
The Office of Management and Budget described the proposals today as this: “The package of bills consisting of House Amendment 1 to HB 2990 and House Amendment 1 to House Bill 648 is yet another proposal where expenditures wildly exceed revenues. House Amendment 1 to House Bill 2990 appropriates approximately $3.7 billion, of which $3.0 billion is appropriated from General Funds.”