Quinn's proposed budget virtually ignored in Ill. House bipartisan plan | St. Louis Public Radio

Quinn's proposed budget virtually ignored in Ill. House bipartisan plan

Mar 30, 2011

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's proposed budget is virtually ignored in the Illinois House leaders' bipartisan plan.

Saving money by consolidating school districts and revisions to the tax code.  These were highlights of the governor's budget plan.

But they may be doomed.  Speaker Mike Madigan dismissed them.

"I have no comment on them, I just don't plan to pursue them," Madigan said.

Madigan also says legislators have no appetite for Quinn's push to borrow billions of dollars so the state could quickly pay vendors waiting to be paid.  

Instead of going forward with Quinn's plan, Madigan and House GOP leader Tom Cross are leaving it to legislators to divvy up the state's discretionary funds.  Their plan says Illinois has to keep spending within a revenue target of $33 billion.  That would mean less for education, human services and other areas.

"Spending the only available money we have, that has not been the process in the past years ... but, uh, the idea of limiting spending to what we have is something that many of us have been advocating for a number of years," Cross said. "We embrace this."

Cross admits the House is using a conservative estimate, lower than what the Senate and the Governor expect the state to take in. He says if extra money is received, that can go to paying down the backlog of bills.