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Springfield Veto Session Ends As It Often Does—With Nothing Accomplished

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 4, 2014 3:10PM

ilcapitoldome0509.jpg The Illinois Legislature’s veto session ended Wednesday with little to show for it and the stage set for some looming showdowns between House Speaker Michael Madigan and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner once Rauner is sworn into office next month.

The General Assembly failed to pass legislation boosting the minimum wage to $10 or $11 an hour nor did they extend the 2011 state income tax hike set to expire once Rauner takes office. The Illinois Senate, meanwhile, passed the minimum wage hike and expressed hope the House could return in a last-minute session to do the same before Rauner is inaugurated.

Gov. Pat Quinn, for what it’s worth, hinted he may convene that session but Madigan said it would be futile and returning lawmakers should instead focus on enjoying the holidays and be “ready for hard work come January.”

The House’s failure to act on a minimum wage hike was impacted in part by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s successful push to boost the minimum wage in Chicago to $13 an hour by 2018. Business groups oppose a minimum wage hike and the legislation on the agenda in Springfield was tied to ensuring Chicago’s minimum wage hike was in line with Illinois’. The rollback of the income tax hike, meanwhile, will result in a loss of $4 billion to the state budget. Rauner has been meeting with state department heads and budget experts to get a sense of the size of the tumbleweed that is Illinois’ finances and indicated it’s worse than he believed.

"Every time we look under the hood, look at different departments, look at different issues, the problems, the deficits, the overspending is more significant than has been discussed in the past. We want to make sure we understand it," Rauner said.

The General Assembly passed a $35.7 billion budget last spring that left many state agencies underfunded and Quinn called “incomplete.”