Democrats changed House rules to pass their $1.1 billion revenue plan just before 5 a.m.

Democrats were forced to change the House rules and needed three tries to pass their $1.1 billion revenue plan just before 5 a.m. After a near-derailment and an all-nighter to wrap up the General Assembly’s spring session, supermajority Democrats in the Illinois House gave final legislative approval to the state budget as the sun rose Wednesday morning.

“Not only did the Democrats change the procedural rules on bills that don’t receive the requisite votes, it took them three times to pass their own tax package even though they hold a supermajority.  To make matters worse, they decided to do so in the middle of the night when most Illinois citizens were fast asleep,” Rep. Friess said. “The included billion-dollar tax hikes do not help but hurt the hardworking people of Illinois as they struggle with the reality of inflation. The fact that seven democrats went against their own proposed budget package shows just how harmful and irresponsible it is.”

Despite holding 78 seats in the chamber, it took Democrats three tries to reach the 60 votes needed to approve more than $1.1 billion in revenue increases, including a tax hike on sportsbooks and businesses, to balance the $53.1 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2025.

The spending plan passed 65-45, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.

The revenue plan that capped the voting on the budget-related bills was more of a challenge. House Bill 4951 fell one vote short of passage twice after 4 a.m. due to attendance issues. At that time, in accordance with the rules adopted by the House, the bill should have died.  However, the Democrats moved to suspend the House rules and make a third attempt.  On the third try – after about an hour of procedural maneuvering by Republicans that left Democrats reeling – the bill passed at 4:43 a.m. with the minimum 60 votes necessary.