CHICAGO (AP) — Efforts to identify cuts that can be made to Illinois’ budget will continue despite the postponement of the General Assembly’s veto session, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.
Pritzker also said he will try to convince the nation’s credit rating agencies not to downgrade Illinois’ bonds to junk status. The possible action is the result of rejection by the state’s voters of a proposed graduated income tax amendment to the Illinois constitution.
Pritzker has said the COVID-19 pandemic could result in state revenues falling by billions of dollars. Legislative leaders announced Tuesday the veto session scheduled to start next week was canceled because of surging COVID-19 cases around the state.
“I’m already convening the leaders. There’s a great deal of work that needs to be done,” Pritzker said. “We’ve trimmed across the executive branch throughout the last two years and there’s more to be done than just trimming. Now we’re going to have to make some serious and, frankly, painful cuts.”
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has warned that if House Democrats try to raise taxes to balance the budget, there will not be any House Republican support for the effort.
Pritzker said he is disappointed the fall legislative session was canceled because of the work that needs to be done beyond the budget, including criminal justice reform, an issue the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus had hoped to address during the veto session. House Speaker Michael Madigan says medical experts will be consulted before the postponed session is rescheduled.
“I’ve been assured by the leaders that we’ll get right at it as soon as we can in January,” Pritzker said.
The 101st General Assembly wraps up business in January when the members of the 102nd General Assembly will be sworn in.