Stop the presses! Wednesday found the Illinois House voting unanimously on a spending bill. But unanimity doesn't equate to harmony in Springfield, at least not on the House floor before all members voted to sanction spending $5.2 billion in federal money that had been in limbo because of the state budget stalemate. Mark Fitton of Illinois News Network was there for the fireworks.
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House on Wednesday ultimately gave Gov. Bruce Rauner the "clean" spending bill he asked for, but only after a bruising debate.
In the end, a bill to OK the state's spending about $5.2 billion in federal funds on human services, as well as $166 million in state money toward debt service for Chicago's Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, passed with no opposition.
But an earlier House Democrats' plan to add $585 million in state general fund spending, as well as $170 million from other state funds, put the rhetoric from both sides on high heat, even though it appeared to lack votes from the start.
House Republicans blasted the Democrats for trying to add state spending to the Senate's $4.8 billion federal "pass through" authorization.
Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, said Democrats knew the GOP was opposed and knew they didn't have the votes needed to pass the measure as amended.
Instead, he said, they were trying to force a "sham vote" and paint the Republicans as the bad guys who refused to support money for programs such as childcare and breast cancer screenings.
Read the rest of Fitton's report of the back and forth at the House at Reboot Illinois.
And though it might seem that that one federal spending bill is the only thing Democrats and Republicans have been able to come together on in recent days, Scott Reeder says politicians of both parties have at least one other thing in common: ignoring the Illinois State Constitution and the laws laid out within it. See how Reeder says Illinois' elected officials are letting the principles of the state's guiding document fall by the wayside at Reboot Illinois.
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