-Illinois
5:20 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Lawmakers Approve New Spending

The Illinois House approved more than a billion dollars in new spending this week. For a while, the plan appeared to have bipartisan support. That fell apart by the time it came up for a vote. The measure fills budget holes for the state agency that investigates reports of child abuse, and for community providers of mental health care. It also spends hundreds of millions of dollars on road and building construction projects.

Credit state of Illinois

House Republican Leader Tom Cross says there are good things in the plan, but that it's been larded up with questionable spending.

"I find it ironic that, for all practical purposes, the very first day of the new General Assembly is focused on spending more money, and not focusing on reform." - Tom Cross

Barbara Flynn Currie is the Democratic Majority Leader. She says the plan had bipartisan support the previous day, until some Republicans decided to "make political hay" out of the issue.

"Something odd is happening on this House floor. It wasn't happening yesterday. Nothing has changed but an attitude." - Barbara Flynn Currie

 The measure passed on a mostly party-line vote, 63-52, and now goes to the Illinois Senate.

Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey contributed to this report