Pritzker uses amendatory veto on state’s budget

State senators voted Tuesday afternoon to agree with Pritzker’s changes. Members of the House will also need to agree to the changes before the bill can go into effect.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to questions from the media during a news conference in Springfield on Tuesday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP file

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued an amendatory veto on a spending proposal legislators sent to his desk earlier this month, fixing “inadvertent” mistakes in the plan and setting effective dates for the law ahead of the July start to Illinois’ fiscal year.

Pritzker said in an explanation of the veto that some parts of the appropriations bill, which contains the state’s operating and capital budgets, were assigned an incorrect effective date while others weren’t assigned a specific implementation date at all.

Without the veto many of the appropriations in the bill would not take effect until June 1, 2022, or 11 months into the state’s fiscal year.

Lawmakers in both chambers will need to agree to the changes Pritzker made before it can officially become law and they’ll need to pass the legislation with a three-fifths majority to ensure the spending plan can take effect immediately.

In the Senate, 36 votes are needed to approve the legislation. In the House, the bill would need 71 votes to pass assuming all 118 members are present to vote. 

Democrats in the state’s upper chamber accepted the changes Tuesday afternoon in a 36- 21 vote.

Before the vote, Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, took Democrats to task for the mistakes in the bill, saying “what we see is a continuous desire to operate ... in the dark of the night without any transparency, that results in things like this — chaos.”

“It’s important to note that it need not be this way,” Barickman said. “What does it say about the Legislature and about the majority that while countless people were sleeping in the state, you rushed through a $42 billion budget so fatally flawed that you had to use a procedural mechanism that even [former Speaker Michael] Madigan wouldn’t use to rescue it?”

The House is set to take up the changes Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said in a statement the chamber will temporarily allow members to participate remotely after some legislators “flagged urgent family or medical emergencies and cannot leave their loved ones or put them at risk, particularly since we cannot assure all members of the House have been vaccinated.”

“This is a sound option for a one-day session and we look forward to getting these final-action items across the finish line quickly, efficiently, and safely,” Jaclyn Driscoll, Welch’s spokeswoman said.

Driscoll added she doesn’t “foresee any huge challenges” since members understand the importance of the budget.

State lawmakers approved a $42.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1, earlier this month.

Pritzker unveiled his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year during a virtual State of the State address in February, proposing the closure of some “corporate tax loopholes” and reducing some state departments’ spending to help fill a nearly $3 billion budget gap.

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