Illinois Lawmakers Override Rauner Veto of 911 Fees

The tax increase vote was 72-45, one more than needed, with some Republicans breaking from Gov. Bruce Rauner.

"We can't continue to be the ATM that funds programs that can't live within their means", Jesiel said.

"Stop playing "chicken" with the fifth-largest state in the union", said Rep. David Harris, a suburban Chicago Republican.

Another bond house has chimed in with a positive note on Illinois' financial outlook.

Thanks to the vote, the House has now endorsed a tax law change that impacts both individuals and businesses.

"It's been a political crisis, an unprecedented stalemate for over two years now and yesterday's action was really the first break in that stalemate", John Miller, co-head of fixed income at Nuveen Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television.

Currently, Illinois holds a $6 billion deficit. It warned last month that IL would drop to junk credit status if it wasn't able to solve its partisan gridlock.

Fitch Ratings issued a similar notice Monday morning, a day after the House vote. The Senate has a Democratic super majority which could also reject the governor's veto.

Despite warnings of another downgrade to Illinois' already worst-in-the-nation credit rating, one agency is citing "concrete progress" toward a budget impasse resolution after a flurry of weekend activity.

Bryant said it wasn't an easy decision to vote for a proposal increasing the income tax rate by 32 percent. He reports work also continues on pension reform which is also critical for the state's future. The Senate is poised to take up the measure Monday.

IL has officially entered its third fiscal year without a budget.

House Bill 1811 increases 911 fees for the state to $1.50 from $0.87 and will allow Chicago to increase its 911 fees to $5 per month per line from $3.90.

IL lawmakers are racing to push through legislation to end a record-long budget impasse and avoid becoming the only state with a junk credit rating. Raising the IL income tax by a whopping 32% along with hikes in fees and, perhaps the cruelest blow, a hike in the alcohol tax. The Senate could receive the budget legislation and immediately consider it. The corporate rate would jump from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.

Their defiance came after House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, a Rauner ally, noted the deal was not negotiated with the governor and did not represent "an exercise in good faith", given that negotiations involving some of the governor's non-budgetary priorities were shunted to the sidelines. He said IL spends about $1 billion a year in those incentives.

The House turns its attention to other matters such as a Senate plan to borrow billions of dollars to pay down overdue bills. According to House Speaker Michael Madigan, the package is modeled on a bill supported by the governor.

  • Rogelio Becker