700+ days without an Illinois Budget; Local school district could close if nothing passes

Published: Jun. 8, 2017 at 8:54 PM CDT
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Its a story that has been told time and time again, as of Thursday, Illinois has gone 708 days without a working budget.

"I think both sides need to get to the table," said Superintendent Kristin Humphries. "I think we have a real problem."

Humphries admits that if a budget isn't passed in the state of Illinois, his school district may not be able to open its doors.

"Our fund balances are very low," he said.

The board of education can vote to open the school, which Humphries says is likely, but without a budget he says they wouldn't last a whole year.

"Last year we could operate until Halloween," he said. "This year we will not make it until Halloween."

Lawmakers have little time, just over three weeks before the end of another fiscal year.

The Illinois Senate did pass a spending plan, but the house didn't vote on it in time.

Now, if the house were to hear that plan, a 3/5 majority is needed to pass.

Both Chambers did pass a school funding reform plan, but Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to veto it.

Both State Representative Mike Halpin and State Representative Dan Swanson say if a budget is passed, it needs to be sufficient.

"We can raise taxes, we can do all those things but until we look at cutting and reducing our spending, it's not fair to raise taxes," said State. Rep. Swanson (R) 74th District. "We've been down this route before."

"If w'ere going to do a full budget, we have to make sure it is not just on paper balanced, but structurally balanced going forward," said State Rep. Halpin (D) 72nd District.

They both say they're optimistic something will be passed in time.

"We'll have something by the first of July," said Rep. Swanson. "I'm confident in that, but once again if it is a stopgap, it doesn't add certainty."

"I can't give you exact odds, and I can't give you a guarantee." said Rep. Halpin. "I can tell you I'm optimistic that we get it done."

Rep. Dan Swanson says he got word on Thursday that lawmakers will head back to Springfield at the end of June to hash out a budget plan.