Chamber notes: State again fails to reach budget plan

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(Image provided by Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

As I forecasted in my May President’s Message, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner failed to reach a “Grand Bargain” on a state budget plan by the 100th Spring Session’s May 31 conclusion, so now it will require a three-fifths majority to pass bills for an extended session this summer.

John Quigley

Instead of a simple majority, a budget plan will now require Republican support to reach the 71 votes needed to pass out of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which adopted a resolution to remain in “continuous session” to work on a budget deal.

Stop-gap funding for social service agencies and state universities ran out January 1 and the state’s backlog of unpaid bills has grown to $14.5 billion.

Last week, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed three budget-related bills negotiated with their Republicans counterparts that stalled in the House, although a revenue bill featuring an income tax hike and a new sale tax on business services meant to generate $5 billion in additional income cleared a House Committee earlier this week.

Without any tax increases, state revenues projected at $31.5 billion versus the $37 billion spending proposal passed by the Senate.

Illinois has now “operated” without a budget in place for more than 700 days.

Happy Anniversaries

Six members are celebrating Chamber anniversaries in June, as follows: 40 years—Tree Towns Reprographics, Inc., and Verlare Cleaners of Elmhurst; 20 years—The David Agency Insurance, Inc.; 15 years—Lexington Health Care & Rehabilitation Center Elmhurst and People for Elmhurst Parks Foundation; and 5 years—Pinstripes.

New Members

The Chamber welcomed six new members in May, as follows: ACCU-TAX and Accounting CO., Bema, Incorporated, Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estates (Gil Edgerton), Fresh Pals Pet Spa, Morgan Stanley (Taso and Gus) and VNA Health Care.

Reactivated Members

Barnhart Investment Advisory, SPECIAL T UNLIMITED and Val-Matic Valve and Manufacturing Corp. reactivated their Chamber memberships in May.

No Longer Members

The Chamber said goodbye to the following five members in May: Glenbard Uniform, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Railings and Things, Top Dog Retreat and Venuz Med Spa.

John Quigley is president and CEO of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce and Industry