(Gov. Bruce Rauner Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno and House GOP Leader Jim Durkin stood with Republican lawmakers May 31 in the Capitol to support a stop-gap budget that's fully funded and ensures schools can open on time in the fall.)
After a year of bipartisan and bicameral negotiations to expand job opportunities, fix a corrupt political system and mend a failing state economy, Democrat leaders chose instead to try and force through a budget that is more than $7 billion out of balance, according to Senator Jim Oberweis.
House Speaker Michael Madigan hastily rammed Senate Bill 2048 through the House on May 25 and the Senate tried the same maneuver on May 31, but failed to muster enough votes to pass the bill.
“The one positive for this week was that a majority of my Senate Democrat colleagues chose to send Speaker Madigan a message by voting ‘no’ or ‘present’ along with the Republicans on Madigan’s unbalanced, budget-busting spending plan,” Senator Oberweis said.
Senate Bill 2048 calls for approximately $40 billion in total spending—more than $7 billion over estimated Fiscal Year 2017 revenues of $32.5 billion. Providing sufficient revenues for such an unbalanced spending plan would require a massive 47 percent income tax hike on Illinois families and employers.
“After hours and hours of what Republican leaders thought were good-faith negotiations, Speaker Madigan chose gamesmanship over progress. He and his cohorts fell back on their same old tired budgeting tactics they’ve relied on for more than a decade,” Senator Oberweis said. “It’s just easier for them to walk away from the table than listen to fresh ideas that address Illinois’ challenges in a new light, and might actually help our faltering economy.”
Senator Oberweis said such reckless and irresponsible spending has been a hallmark of Illinois fiscal policy for the last dozen years.
“Years of tax-and-spend government guided by these Democrat legislative leaders have left our state’s finances in a mess. No one with a lick of economic sense would choose to support such a misguided approach yet again,” Senator Oberweis said.
“The alternatives offered by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican leaders would go a long way to foster an economic climate that encourages job creation and growth in Illinois. Yet when looking to close the regular legislative session, the Democrat leaders chose to ignore essential economic reforms and opt for political gain. In the end, no one won,” the 25th District Senator added. “If we are to face a tax increase in the near future, it is imperative that we pass the common-sense reforms needed to turn our state and our economy in the right direction. Illinois is a great state and would be financially sound if the politicians in Springfield would just stop screwing it up.”