Illinois lawmakers are beginning to confront the huge hole expected in next year's state budget. The temporary income tax increase of a few years ago is set to roll back at the end of this year. Lawmakers are being told Illinois will have $1.58 billion less to spend next year.
"The budget is going to be one of the, if not the big issue, as it generally is," said Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion).
Bradley is chairman of the House Revenue Committee.
Republican members of the Illinois House are trying to head off a post-election tradition... taking up controversial legislation when it's too late for voters to do anything about it.
Rewind to January, 2011. Newly-elected members to the General Assembly were about to be sworn in. But before the turnover, the old General Assembly took a few final votes. Support from retiring legislators and those who'd lost their elections helped pass laws, like one that abolished the death penalty, and another that increased Illinois' income tax.
If proceeds from video gaming were a coconut cream pie, Illinois municipalities would only get a taste. But if you added up those nibbles every month, it may be enough to notice an increasing waistline.
In December alone, Illinois municipalities that offer video gaming shared $1.8 million.
Video gaming machines starting spewing out the green in the fall of 2012. Illinois started with a few hundred gaming terminals. By the end of last year, there were more than 13,000 terminals in the state.
Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops this year. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business. Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.
Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for more time before he delivers his budget address in part to prepare a five-year spending blueprint. Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that the governor would like to delay his annual budget speech from Feb. 19 to March 26.