Democrats in the legislature are moving forward with giving Gov. Pat Quinn more time to spell out his budget plans for next year.

Democrats in the legislature are moving forward with giving Gov. Pat Quinn more time to spell out his budget plans for next year.


The Senate voted 31-21 on Wednesday for House Bill 2240, approved earlier in the day by a Senate committee.


Under state law, Quinn is supposed to give his budget address next Wednesday. But Quinn asked for more time, with a tough primary election just ending last week and major budget problems facing the state.


He initially wanted to present his plans at the end of March but agreed with Democratic legislative leaders to give his address March 10. Two weeks earlier, on Feb. 24, he'll provide details about the state's current budget and some expectations for next year and solicit public and lawmaker input through his Web site on plans for next year.


Supporters argue Quinn needs more time to ensure all the details are done correctly.


"The people in the state know we have a fiscal crisis," said Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.


But Republicans opposing the measure argued Democrats shouldn't have waited this long to get to work on the budget, much less waiting a few more weeks.


"This has got to get addressed sooner rather than later," said Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine. "This is an insult to the people of this state."


GateHouse News Service State Capitol Bureau