Spring Legislative Sessions Ended on Friday in Illinois

The Spring legislative session for Illinois lawmakers has come to an end as of Friday, with a whirlwind week happening.  That included producing a budget, a state construction plan and billions of dollars in tax increases to help fund it, with more gambling, legal marijuana use and protections for abortions.  The Senate took their final action on Sunday on a $39.9-billion budget, and a $45-billion outline for rebuilding roads, schools, and other public works.  The state’s gasoline tax was also doubled to 38-cents per gallon.  Future increases would be tied to inflation, but legislation ensures that the road fund will not be used for other purposes, except for Illinois roads.  The Democratic controlled legislature got the approval from super majorities and from minority Republicans, who agreed the spending plan is balanced, endorsed the need for infrastructure improvements and encouraged a lockbox on road-repair money, in order to prohibit future diversions.  The senate approved a last-minute, but gigantic expansion of casino gambling inside the state, and legalize betting on sports events for the 1st time.  Licensing fees and tax revenue from the initiative could produce around $700-million next year for construction plans.