Il lawmakers return to Springfield Monday

May 26, 2014

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday. With just six days remaining before the scheduled summer adjournment, , the state budget remains the top issue. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more.
Lawmakers have a difficult choice: slash spending on things like education and health care, or vote to make the current five percent income tax rate permanent. It's scheduled to drop by more than a percentage point at the end of the year.

Democrats have been unable to find the votes needed to pass a tax extension in the House. Proponents of that approach, like Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago, hope their reluctant colleagues heard from constituents over the weekend.

"When we had these giant blizzards during the winter, people wanted IDOT out there plowing the roads. When we had tornadoes come through some of our communities, people wanted someone to come out there and help rescue them. They don't want to hear, 'Well, gee, we don't have enough money because someone didn't want to take a hard political vote," says Harris.

Last week, House Democrats indicated they preferred neither cuts nor taxes. House Speaker Michael Madigan says they're working on a budget that tries to preserve state services without extending the five percent income tax.