Overtime session produces Illinois budget, construction, taxes

  • Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, outlines a $39.9 billion state budget plan to the Executive Committee, Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

    Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, outlines a $39.9 billion state budget plan to the Executive Committee, Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

  • Illinois Rep. Keith Wheeler, a Republican from the Chicago suburb of Oswego, questions the contents of a proposed $39.9 billion budget during an Executive Committee hearing, Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

    Illinois Rep. Keith Wheeler, a Republican from the Chicago suburb of Oswego, questions the contents of a proposed $39.9 billion budget during an Executive Committee hearing, Saturday, June 1, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

  • House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, center, R-Western Springs, speaks about the state budget, on the House floor at the State Capitol on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, center, R-Western Springs, speaks about the state budget, on the House floor at the State Capitol on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • House Speaker Michael Madigan, top row, second from right, D-Chicago, listens to debate on the state budget in the House at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    House Speaker Michael Madigan, top row, second from right, D-Chicago, listens to debate on the state budget in the House at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, speaks with the media after visiting with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker as negotiations on the budget bill continue into the evening on the scheduled last day of the spring session at the Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, speaks with the media after visiting with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker as negotiations on the budget bill continue into the evening on the scheduled last day of the spring session at the Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, outlines a $39.9 billion state budget plan to the Executive Committee, Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

    Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, D-Chicago, outlines a $39.9 billion state budget plan to the Executive Committee, Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Springfield, Ill. Lawmakers missed the Friday, May 31, 2019 deadline to adjourn their spring session after a week of landmark votes including approving a constitutional amendment question asking voters whether to switch to a graduated income-tax structure that hits the wealthy harder and sending to the governor statutory language to protect abortion rights after several Republican-led states have imposed steep restrictions on the procedure.

  • Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, exits the governor's office after meeting with Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and the governor as negotiations on the budget bill continued into the evening on the scheduled last day of the spring session, at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, exits the governor's office after meeting with Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and the governor as negotiations on the budget bill continued into the evening on the scheduled last day of the spring session, at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois state Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, left, state Reps. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago and Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, react as they watch the final votes come in for their bill in the Illinois House chambers to legalize recreational marijuana use Friday, May 31, 2019. The 66-47 vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois state Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, left, state Reps. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago and Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, react as they watch the final votes come in for their bill in the Illinois House chambers to legalize recreational marijuana use Friday, May 31, 2019. The 66-47 vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, throws her fist in the air as she celebrates with Illinois state Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, left, and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, as they watch the final votes come in for their bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. The 66-47 vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, throws her fist in the air as she celebrates with Illinois state Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, left, and Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, as they watch the final votes come in for their bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. The 66-47 vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois deputy governor Christian Mitchell and Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, embrace as they celebrate the 66-47 vote in the Illinois House for a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use Friday, May 31, 2019. The vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois deputy governor Christian Mitchell and Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, embrace as they celebrate the 66-47 vote in the Illinois House for a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use Friday, May 31, 2019. The vote sends the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker who indicated he will sign it. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois state Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, poses with a print out of the 1581 pages of the just released Illinois state budget on the floor of the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois state Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, poses with a print out of the 1581 pages of the just released Illinois state budget on the floor of the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, listens to debate on the state 2020 budget on the House floor at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, listens to debate on the state 2020 budget on the House floor at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, holds up an egg before cracking it into a pan to reference the "This is your brain on drugs," campaign during debate on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. DeLuca voted against the bill that passed the House 66-47. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, holds up an egg before cracking it into a pan to reference the "This is your brain on drugs," campaign during debate on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. DeLuca voted against the bill that passed the House 66-47. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, speaks against the bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. Flowers voted against the bill that passed the House 66-47. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, speaks against the bill to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Illinois House chambers Friday, May 31, 2019. Flowers voted against the bill that passed the House 66-47. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • People dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale" sit in the president's gallery of the Senate showing their support of the Reproductive Health Act on the last scheduled day of the spring session at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    People dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale" sit in the president's gallery of the Senate showing their support of the Reproductive Health Act on the last scheduled day of the spring session at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, holds hands with staffer Mary Hanahan as she answers questions from the Republican side of the aisle during debate of the Reproductive Health Act, on the Senate floor at the State Capitol late Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, holds hands with staffer Mary Hanahan as she answers questions from the Republican side of the aisle during debate of the Reproductive Health Act, on the Senate floor at the State Capitol late Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, celebrate passage by Senate of the Reproductive Health Act on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. The measure would rescind prohibitions on some late-term abortions and 45-year-old criminal penalties for performing the procedure. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, celebrate passage by Senate of the Reproductive Health Act on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. The measure would rescind prohibitions on some late-term abortions and 45-year-old criminal penalties for performing the procedure. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, joins hands with Sens. Kimberly A. Lightford, center, D-Maywood, and Iris Martinez, left, D-Chicago, as they vote on the Reproductive Health Act on the floor of the Senate at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, joins hands with Sens. Kimberly A. Lightford, center, D-Maywood, and Iris Martinez, left, D-Chicago, as they vote on the Reproductive Health Act on the floor of the Senate at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, is hugged by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, as they celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act, at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, is hugged by Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, as they celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act, at the State Capitol, Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is joined by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, center, D-Chicago, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, as they celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act, at the State Capitol on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is joined by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, center, D-Chicago, and Sen. Melinda Bush, right, D-Grayslake, as they celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act, at the State Capitol on Friday, May 31, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is joined by Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, with pink button, and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, with glasses and blue clothing, and women from the floor of the Illinois Senate to celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act on Friday, May 31, 2019, at the Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is joined by Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, with pink button, and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, with glasses and blue clothing, and women from the floor of the Illinois Senate to celebrate Senate passage of the Reproductive Health Act on Friday, May 31, 2019, at the Capitol in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP)

 
By John O’Connor
AP Political Writer
Updated 6/1/2019 8:45 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House cranked out mountains of legislation Saturday in an overtime workday, producing a $39.9 billion budget, a $45 billion state construction program, and billions of dollars in new taxes and fees to fund it, from a doubled gasoline tax to a leviathan expansion of gambling.

Democrats, who control every facet of state government, led the way with cooperation from minority Republicans, who acknowledged the budget is balanced, were gratified to get business-building and job-creation incentives and recognized the need to pay for fixing roads, schools, prisons and other public works ignored for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This state is uniquely situated in our country," GOP Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield said during debate over doubling the gasoline tax to 38 cents a gallon. "We are a leader in transportation, but our infrastructure is crumbling. We have to reinvest, people."

Lawmakers blew the Friday deadline for adjourning their spring session, in part because of the hours of debate consumed by historic votes. They approved asking voters to decide in next year's election whether to change the state constitution to allow replacing a flat-rate income tax with a graduated one based on income. And Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he will sign a law to make Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The Senate must return to Springfield on Sunday to finish action on the infrastructure-improvement legislation and to consider the gambling package. Here's a rundown at final-days action:

Budget

House action Saturday nearly concludes work on a $39.9 billion spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1, a 2% increase over the current year. Republicans agree it's balanced and it provides a $375 million increase to public education to fund the school-aid formula revamped two years ago, a 5% bump.

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The plan includes increases for higher education, fully funds the required $9 billion pension contribution and allows borrowing $1.2 billion to pay down a lingering, $6.7 billion pile of overdue bills to save money on interest payments.

And it increases by $100 million funding for the Department of Children and Family Services. The agency is reeling from criticism over its inability to save three children in its care who have died this year.

State construction program

The House put finishing touches on a $45 billion dollar statewide construction program for roads, bridges, mass transit, schools prisons and other public works. The Senate's Sunday agenda includes considering the plan.

It calls for a variety of new and increased taxes, such as doubling the gas tax to 38 cents per gallon and increasing vehicle registration fees by 50% to $150, lower than what Pritzker proposed. It increases the per-pack cigarette tax by $1 to $2.98.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It also cuts out potentially contentious taxes, such as a real estate transfer tax increase, a $1-a-ride fee for ride-sharing services and a 7% tax on cable, satellite, and streaming video services. But it now counts on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from legalized sports betting and casino expansion.

Gambling expansion/sports betting

A proposal to legalize sports betting emerged this spring after the U.S. Supreme Court OK'd it outside of Nevada. But the Illinois legislation languished until last week when Rep. Robert Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, tacked onto it a long-discussed expansion of existing casino gambling.

The House OK'd the package last night. It would legalize sports betting and allow for adding casinos in Chicago and its suburbs to the north and south, Rockford, Danville, and southern Illinois. It would expand gambling slots at the state's 10 existing casinos and add them horse racing racks.

A preliminary estimate puts first-year licensing and tax revenue at more than $700 million. It would be the largest contributor to the construction program's so-called vertical projects -- buildings such as schools, prison, and sewage-treatment plants -- as opposed to roads.

The Senate has yet to consider the gambling array.

Graduated income tax

The legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the November 2020 ballot asking voters whether they want to switch from a flat-rate income tax to one based on income. If approved, the new scaled approach would take effect in January 2021.

In separate action, Pritzker was sent legislation establishing the rates should the new system be enacted. They top out at 7.99% for the state's wealthiest residents. Pritzker contends that 97% of taxpayers will pay no more than they do now because those earning less than $250,000 would pay, at most, the current 4.95% rate that applies to the flat tax.

Marijuana

Pritzker will get legislation to allow residents to buy and possess up to 1 ounce (30 grams) of marijuana for personal use. Pritzker is expected to sign the measure to make Illinois the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow recreational use.

Supporters say the new law also will remedy to past injustices to minorities who were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. The plan allows scrubbing of criminal records for anyone convicted of possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less and offers incentives to minority investors who want to enter what will likely be a burgeoning new marijuana industry.

Abortion protections

After at least a half-dozen Republican-controlled states have adopted steep restrictions on abortion, Illinois Democrats have answered with legislation to provide statutory protections for the procedure. The House adopted the legislation which rescinds prohibitions on some late-term abortions and 45-year-old restrictions such as criminal charges against doctors who perform abortions, none of which has been enforced because of court orders.

Pritzker has pledged to sign it.

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