Lawmakers in Illinois went past their midnight deadline in Springfield on Thursday in an effort to finish their business before the campaign season. In a frenzied end, the General Assembly approved a new state budget and authorized a massive expansion of gambling.
But they're not finished.
The collapse of pension reform means lawmakers will probably return to Springfield this summer. This recap is from Amanda Vinicky in Springfield.
Reporting from Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.
Like its counterpart in Missouri, the Illinois General Assembly is heading into the home stretch.
Lawmakers there have a bit more time to get through their agenda - their session isn't scheduled to end until the end of May. But unlike lawmakers in Missouri, Illinois legislators have a monumental task in front of them - passing a state budget.
Most state agencies will have their budget cut by 9 percent.
With a Friday deadline looming, Missouri lawmakers finally reached a compromise on putting the final touches on the state budget.
The agreement addresses veterans’ homes, university funding and other sticking points: First, budget negotiators agreed to spread an additional $3 million among several universities, including Southeast Missouri State, and dropped a proposal to give $2 million to that school alone. Also, lawmakers will have to craft a Higher Education funding formula by the end of next year, which would be implemented in July 2014.
With three weeks left in the legislative session, Governor Jay Nixon (D) is urging lawmakers to fund veterans’ homes, pensions for the blind and other specific needs in the still-unfinished state budget.
Nixon told reporters today that nursing homes for military veterans are woefully underfunded in next year’s $24 billion spending plan, and that a separate bill needs to be passed to insure a dedicated funding source for the homes.
“Missouri’s veterans’ home(s) provide critical services for thousands of men and women who have served our country with honor and bravery," Nixon said. "Let me be clear, that bill must get to my desk without delay.”