Illinois House Approves Austere Spending Limits
Virtually all parts of state government would be forced to cut spending under a budget outline approved by the Illinois House. The measure requires cutting Medicaid by $2.7 billion, or about 14 percent. Spending on services from schools to prisons would fall by about $900 million. The House approved it 91-16 yesterday. Now it goes to the state Senate. The measure calls for paying about $1.3 billion in overdue bills, or about 16 percent of the backlog. It also increases the state's annual contribution to government retirement systems. Democratic Rep. Greg Harris supports the plan but calls it "truly, truly unpleasant."