Lawmakers head home without budget

Staff reports

State lawmakers are leaving Springfield, but it's without a budget and they'll be back.

Hoping to finish all their work today, instead Democratic leaders are sending lawmakers home this evening without approving a new spending plan for next year.

Now lawmakers plan to return to work later to try to come to some sort of agreement on a new budget, something that eluded them because of opposition to tax increases, spending cuts and borrowing this week.

"When we are prepared to finish our business, we will come back to Springfield," said House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, in a speech to his House colleagues. Madigan added that he hoped the additional workload would only take one or two days but did not provide a timetable.

Lawmakers could return at the end of the month, as May 31 is the deadline for bills to be approved with only a simple majority. After that, some Republican votes would be in play on any budget agreement.

Senators had approved three main pieces of a patchwork budget earlier in the day, but those were not called for votes in the House.

State Capitol Bureau