Gov. Pat Quinn will get more time to lay out his budget plans for next year once he agrees to the idea. The House voted 65-44 on Thursday for House Bill 2240, which pushes back his budget address from next Wednesday to March 10. With Senate approval Wednesday, the measure now only needs Quinn's approval – and he's the one pushing it.

Gov. Pat Quinn will get more time to lay out his budget plans for next year.


The House voted 65-44 on Thursday for House Bill 2240, which pushes back his budget address from next Wednesday to March 10. With Senate approval Wednesday, the measure only needed Quinn's approval, which came within hours when he signed it into law.


Quinn was supposed to outline his plans for next week but has asked for the delay with a primary election just completed and huge budget problems facing the state.


Supporters contend the plan offers another benefit by having the governor put online by Feb. 24 budget numbers showing estimated revenue and required spending for next year. The site also will take public and lawmaker input on budget plans in the two weeks leading up to his address.


"He may get some good ideas for budget-making," said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. "I think this legislature can do its job under the timetable this measure proposes."


But Republicans who opposed the idea say delaying the speech again puts off key spending decisions that should have been made long ago.


"We need the information as soon as possible, and this just puts off an inevitable, bleak picture," said Rep. Roger Eddy, R-Hutsonville.


GateHouse News Service State Capitol Bureau