The Illinois Senate approved a $57 billion spending plan early this morning over Republican complaints that it doesn’t cut enough spending and leaves too much authority in Gov. Pat Quinn’s hands.

 

The Illinois Senate approved a $57 billion spending plan early this morning over Republican complaints that it doesn’t cut enough spending and leaves too much authority in Gov. Pat Quinn’s hands.

House Bill 859 was approved on a 31-26 vote and sent to the House which had already adjourned for the night. House Democrats are scheduled to meet with Quinn this morning to talk about budget issues.

Republicans complained that no one had the time to review the 2,300 page spending document.

“We all just got this. No one knows what is in it,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine.

The budget includes $26.1 billion from the state’s general checkbook account which pays for most state services. The money is allocated in large lump sums within various state agencies and Quinn will be given broad authority to direct how the money is spent.

The budget does not include the $3.8 million due to the state-funded pension systems in the next budget year. The plan is to suspend payments into those systems for the first six months of the year and hope that a funding scheme can be worked out.

Representatives from the pension systems said that approach will result in further shortfalls to the systems.