Herald & Review

Quinn sticks with borrowing plan for state budget

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SPRINGFIELD - Even though lawmakers rejected the plan twice last week, Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday that he'll keep pushing plans to borrow money to pay the state's bills.
During efforts to craft the state budget last week, the Illinois House twice voted down legislation that would allow the state to take out almost $4 billion in loans to help deal with a $13 billion deficit.
Quinn said he's talking with lawmakers in an effort to gain support. He thinks taking out loans is necessary because otherwise the people the state owes money will have to borrow to pay their own bills.
Democrats who control the General Assembly need at least some Republican support to approve the legislation. Quinn says he's been reminding Republicans that some of them supported borrowing last year.
"And I tell that to them right to their face," Quinn said.
Quinn was in Springfield on Wednesday for a prayer breakfast. Lawmakers left Springfield last week without approving a budget, and no plans have yet been set for their return.
"That's all still in the works," said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.
A plan to raise cigarette taxes by $1 per pack has also stalled in the Illinois House, but Quinn said he'll keep pushing for that, too.
"I think most people in Illinois would agree with that," Quinn said.