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Mon June 30, 2014
Deadline For Quinn To Take Budget Action
It's the last day of the fiscal year for the State of Illinois, which means the pressure is on for Gov. Pat Quinn to sign a new budget into law.
There's nothing on the governor's public schedule for today, but that doesn't mean he won't be busy making official the spending plan passed by his fellow Democrats in the General Assembly.
It makes sense that Quinn wouldn't want to hold a big ceremony drawing attention to it. He had wanted lawmakers to extend Illinois' 5-percent income tax rate, beyond its scheduled rollback halfway through the new fiscal year.
Lawmakers didn't do that, and they didn't make the massive cuts Quinn had threatened, either -- instead using stop-gap measures to hold the budget flat.
The governor could use powers to reduce some of that spending, but he's not expected to do much of that - after all, he's running for re-election. That's the same reason it's doubtful he'd veto it entirely: a protracted budget battle wouldn't look good.
Time is running out; the government needs a budget in place to keep operating, and midnight's the deadline.
Gov. Quinn had little choice but to wait. The earliest he could have acted on the budget was Friday.
Though they passed the budget a month ago, Democratic leaders used a parliamentary procedure to “hold” it until then - effectively preventing Quinn from playing any budget games.