When Illinois lawmakers return next week, they could vote on a measure to clean up the budget they passed last week.
Lawmakers left the capital city last week after the Senate went into overtime. The Senate was called back for session starting Tuesday. The House will be in on Wednesday.
State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, expects an energy deal to be taken up that could subsidize nuclear power while ordering coal-fired plants closed by 2035. He also said lawmakers may have to address some of the language in the approved budget bill.
“It looks like there’s gonna have to be at least one correction for what they filed,” McClure told WMAY. “But that’s what happens when you do things at the last minute when you don’t have to.”
Errors are likely when the budget process is behind closed doors with one party looking it over, he said.
“When you don’t have the give and take, and when you don’t have both [party’s] staffs analyzing things, mistakes happen,” McClure said.
Minority Republicans were critical of majority Democrats for crafting the budget behind closed doors and revealing details only hours before passage.
State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, agreed that lawmakers need to collaborate better.
“We have to make sure that we have a process where we don’t have a budget that is filed last-minute where we’re spending billions of dollars with very little time for members to review,” Ford said.
Ford advocates for a full week of review to allow for amendments before final passage.
“I think that it’s important that we as legislators step up and we talk to the Speaker [of the House] and the [Senate] President and say ‘look, we want to make sure that rank-and-file members, people that are not on the budget team, really get an opportunity to review these budgets before they are voted on.”
The budget passed along party lines and spends $42 billion dollars. It has yet to be sent to the governor. Any possible clean-up language must be approved with a three-fifths majority in each chamber since it’s after the May 31 deadline for simple majorities.
While the Senate has approved members to cast remote votes for bills on final passage, the House must vote on bills on final passage in-person, meaning nearly every House Democrat would have to be in attendance if all Republicans vote no.
The next fiscal year begins July 1.
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Original Author: Greg Bishop, The Center Square
Original Location: Illinois budget clean up could be on docket for returning lawmakers