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|House Budget Includes Cuts
|It's a race to approve a state budget by the weekend, and House Democrats believe they have the better answer than the Senate Democrats. State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) proposed a budget that included a five-percent cut from fiscal year 2010 spending levels.
The cuts would affect state employee's salaries. Almost 90 percent of state workers are unionized, however, and State Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) doesn't believe the five percent cut is possible. Sullivan says Gov. Pat Quinn has already made agreements with unions to keep their salary increases, but Quinn's budget director David Vaught says that agreement was only with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.
Currie also sponsored legislation to give Quinn extraordinary power to withhold money from state agencies. The emergency power would apply to any state agency or program, as long as it would not affect federal dollars. Currie says the measure is meant to give Quinn flexibility with state dollars during a major budget crisis in fiscal year 2011.
The bill also creates a six-month pension holiday. The pension obligation for fiscal year 2011 is about $3.7 billion. The state would not be required to make that payment until January of 2012. Finally, the bill sells half of the state's rights to the tobacco settlement. Currie's estimates the sale would free up about $1.2 billion in cash.
SB 3660 and SB 1211 passed the House Executive Committee and now head to the full floor.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|05 07 10 by Newsroom
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