The Illinois House last week overrode $480 million of the more than $1.4 billion in cuts Gov. Rod Blagojevich made to the $59 billion fiscal 2009 budget, but the Senate is not expected to hold a special session to take up any of the vetoes so they likely will stand for now.
Blagojevich used his line-item veto powers to cut spending because his administration has said the operating budget passed by the General Assembly would leave the state with a $2 billion deficit. The House rejected his calls to pass several revenue measures — including the transfer of surplus revenues from some non-general fund accounts and a $34 billion capital budget — to help shore up the budget, so the governor cut the budget himself when he signed it earlier this month.
A House committee last week also advanced a scaled-down $1.8 billion capital budget to help ensure Illinois does not lose any federal matching dollars for projects, but the full chamber never voted on the plan. Lawmakers generally support a $34 billion proposed capital budget but have not yet agreed on how to fund it. Blagojevich has endorsed a proposal that relies on the privatization of the state lottery, general obligation borrowing, and the expansion of gaming.