Last week, the Senate took unanimous, bipartisan action to pass nearly $5 billion in federal funds for social service programs, ranging from meals for senior citizens to rehabilitation services for children with disabilities. Gov. Rauner indicated that he would quickly sign the bill, allowing federally-funded programs to continue unimpeded by the stalemate in Springfield.
But the Democrat supermajority in the House, led by House Speaker Michael Madigan, had other ideas.
Rather than quickly approving the bipartisan bill, the House attached a “poison pill” amendment that would spend an additional $1.5 billion without a state budget in place -- far above what Gov. Rauner indicated he would sign. With no Republican support in the House, the measure fell 17 votes short of the required three-fifths vote required to pass. A follow-up amendment, added later with only minor changes, passed on a bipartisan 98-0 vote. The Senate is expected to pass the bill this week.