Illinois House panel approves 2015 spending plan

Feb 25, 2014

Credit Flickr, Randy Von Liski

The Illinois House took a key first step in the state budgeting process today. From the Statehouse, Illinois Public Radio's  Brian Mackey has more.

The Illinois House adopted what's called a "revenue estimate" -- how much money Illinois is expected to be able to spend in the next fiscal year. Democratic Rep. John Bradley, from Marion, is chairman of the House Revenue Committee. That's significant in several ways. It's about a billion less than last year's number, which means lawmakers are going to have extend the tax increase or find other sources of money, or they'll have to make a lot of cuts. On the other hand, it's not as bad as some people had feared. 

The House revenue estimate is important because it's been the dominant number in state budgeting in recent years. Governor Pat Quinn, who delayed unveiling his own budget proposal until late next month, doesn't have to use the House estimate. But Rep. Bradley says the governor would be "well served to abide by [that] number."

"He's not had good luck going against it in the past. *laughs*"

The governor's budget address is March 26.