Illinois Senate OKs Spending on Amtrak

The Illinois Senate voted last week to authorize spending to pay the state’s bills from Amtrak.

But there is no assurance that the bill will win the approval of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has been at odds with the Illinois General Assembly since last year over a fiscal year 2016 budget.

IllinoisThe Senate bill would add another another $4 billion in spending onto the nearly $7.5 billion in backlogged bills.

But Senate Democrats, who control that chamber, acknowledged that even if the bill is adopted it won’t guarantee payment.

Similar to a bill passed by the House last month, the Senate bill adds payments to Amtrak and libraries operated by the secretary of state.

The Rauner administration described the bill as a “a cruel hoax on those it is purportedly designed to help.” Republicans have said the state lacks the money to spend on what is authorized in the spending bills.

The Senate bill will now be considered by the House.

Rauner has threatened to veto piecemeal spending legislation and has instead sought a bill that would give him broad powers to cut spending in order to free up money to pay for various programs.

 

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