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Lawmakers on verge of budget; CAFE on hold

November 17, 2010

State representatives on Aug. 9 voted 99-9 to pass a $27.8 billion Illinois operating budget that the Senate was to consider later that day, just after this newsletter’s deadline.  

If the measure reaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich, it is unclear whether he would approve or veto it, or sit on it for up to 60 days, when it would become law without his signature. He has said he would not approve any budget that does not include his spending priorities for universal health care and a large increase in education spending.

 

The $2.1 billion increase over last year would be funded through natural tax revenue growth and eliminating about $125 million in tax breaks, legislative budget negotiators said. 

Blagojevich’s proposal last spring, to raise $7.6 billion from a gross-receipts tax was trounced in the House 107-0. The GRT could have bankrupted hundreds of Illinois dealers, and they and many other industry groups rose against the GRT.

 

Illinois lawmakers had slogged through an overtime session that by early August reached a record 10 weeks without a state budget. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. House recessed Aug. 6 without debating two vehicle fuel economy bills proposed by representatives. Some speculate the plan is to avoid a House struggle and enact a Senate-passed measure that would raise the combined car-truck standard to 35 mpg by 2020.

 

Automakers and dealer groups support House Resolution 2927, the so-called Hill-Terry CAFE alternative, whose goal is a car-truck standard of 32-25 mpg by 2022.  

A rival, more aggressive House bill proposed by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) would require automakers to hit 35 miles per gallon by 2018.

 

Congress is in recess until after Labor Day, for lawmakers to meet with constituents in their home districts. Dealers are encouraged to enlist their representatives’ support of Hill-Terry, which 163 House members endorse.

 

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