“The last amendment on the budget was six minutes before midnight,” McCombie said. “We did pass the budget before midnight and then we were only allowed one speaker. The process is so unfair and broken. We represent — each one of us — 109,000 people. If we have questions or concerns on a topic, we should have the right to speak on the floor and ask the sponsor of the bill (questions). That’s really the worst part.”
Local lawmakers react to passage of Illinois’ $43 billion budget | Politics and elections
McCombie said Democrats also included raises for legislators. State representatives currently make an annual salary of $67,836 and state senators earn $67,874.
While the bill restores $350 million in annual funding for public schools that was passed in 2017, McCombie said last year’s skipped payment should still be paid to schools.
“We wanted to make sure education was funded, and it was,” she said.
With revenues of $42.3 billion and expenditures of $42.3 billion, McCombie said the budget “appears to be balanced,” but only with $2.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan and “$660 million in what we consider a tax increase on our small businesses.”
State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said the new budget would hurt small businesses.
“Despite having an additional $16 billion in unexpected financial resources this year, the (Democrat) majority forged ahead passing a budget that falls on the backs of businesses,” Anderson said.