House easily rejects deep cuts

Staff reports

The budget gamesmanship continues in the Illinois House today.

Lawmakers voted 15-99 for Senate Bill 1211, which would make nearly $4 billion in deep cuts in state spending. That measure now is stalled.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said this measure was simply the result of the previous vote knocking down a plan to borrowing nearly $4 billion to make pension payments. Without that borrowing money, spending in education and other areas had to be cut accordingly, he and other Democrats argued.

"The amendment is what it is," Madigan said. "There's your opportunity to cut the budget."

"This would be the proverbial chickens coming home to roost," said Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago. "If the money isn't there to pay your bills, you simply have to reduce the bills that you owe."

But critics in favor of cuts say these cuts aren't necessarily the right priority for scaling back state spending in a budget shortfall.

State Capitol Bureau