Battle sparked in Springfield over budget crisis

Battle sparked in Springfield over budget crisis

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Things got hot in Springfield Thursday. Both sides, Republicans and Democrats, were going at it over taxes.

The Illinois House was voting all day, and sent one appropriations bill after another to the State Senate. However, angry Republicans, and several suburban Democrats, complained that the Democratic majority is spending money the state doesn't have.

They had signs asking, "Temporary?"

It was a mocking reference to the state income tax increase that is scheduled to roll back next January.

Democratic leaders and Governor Pat Quinn proposed making it permanent, but don't yet have the votes. They're nonetheless moving to spend money as if they did.

β€œThe State of Illinois needs to live within its means. And we must stop this reckless pattern of insane spending,” said Rep. Jim Durkin.

It may be hard to believe, but Illinois' Constitution requires a balanced budget. One legislator sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan urging her to enforce that provision. Her dad is Speaker of the House, where one of his deputies Thursday claimed it's not a problem.

β€œAs we move forward, we will receive a budget that will be Constitutional. We will talk about the spending. We will also talk about the revenue. None of this is easy,” said Rep. Frank Mautino, Deputy Majority Leader.

Many could say "Amen" to that.

The battle over taxes and spending will likely continue right up to the General Assembly's May 31st adjournment deadline.

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