In the eleventh hour, the Illinois House and Senate approved the state budget, but without the vote from Representative Dan Swanson or Senator Chuck Weaver.
The new budget includes a spending plan of about $40-billion, which includes $375-million for public school funding formula and a 5-percent increase in higher education over the last fiscal year.
The Illinois House advanced the spending plan as part of the state budget to the Senate after an 83-to-35 vote Friday night.
Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha was one of the 35 who voted against the plan, “I was somewhat disappointed with the decision on the budget last night. One of the things I’d hoped to have seen was the 1.5-billion dollars that was found in April could have been better used paying down the pension and pay down the debt. Instead, it was used to provide increases in some of the agencies over what our committees and appropriates committees directed them to.”
“This budget was dropped on us. It stood 14-inches tall in paperwork. And, it’s always been my desires to read legislation before I take a vote on it. And, it’s tough to get through over 1,500 pages in just a very short time. And, I compliment those who served on the committee that asked some great quests of each of the sponsors. It was just a whole lot to take in in just a matter of a couple of hours.”
Macomb Republican Norine Hammond voted in favor of the spending plan and budget. She called the bipartisan vote on the budget a, “good-faith agreement among legislative leaders to consider job-creating reforms”
Also voting against it was Senator Chuck Weaver, but it didn’t stop the full Senate from approving the plan 40-to-19.
Weaver says that the legislation forced through the legislature by the super-majority is “not acceptable and do not accurately reflect the values of the hard-working taxpayers of Central Illinois.”