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Illinois lawmakers return after missing key budget deadline

July 2, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers are returning to work Saturday after missing a key deadline to prevent the state from starting an unprecedented third consecutive fiscal year without a budget.

That means the state is entering dangerous territory.

A $36.5 million plan to rebuild Illinois’ crumbling finances passed a critical test Friday, but no deal was reached before a midnight deadline.

Without a budget, the state comptroller will be unable to cover basic services ordered by courts, road construction and Powerball ticket sales could halt, and the state’s credit rating could be downgraded to “junk.”

The fiscal morass is the longest of any state since at least the Great Depression, with Illinois ringing up a $6.2 billion annual deficit and a $14.7 billion stack of past-due bills.

 

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