Today Governor JB Pritzker presented his draft Fiscal Year 2022 budget in a virtual combined State of the State-Budget Address. The Pritzker proposal calls for $41.6 billion in spending. The budget is out of balance by $1.7 billion. In response to the Governor’s speech, State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) issued the following statement:
“The Governor is proposing a 90% proration of Local Government Distributive Funds (LGDF). These are funds that are generated locally by our municipalities that flow through the state and are to be channeled back to the local level for the delivery of local services. Our local units of government have suffered a great deal due to the economic ramifications of COVID-19, and I vehemently object to the Governor’s decision to shortchange local government as a mechanism for closing his own budget hole.”
“Once again, Governor Pritzker intends to throw salt in the wounds of Illinois business owners who have lost so much during this health pandemic. Rolling back tax incentives for business is the last thing we should be doing right now. It is unconscionable that Governor Pritzker would inflict further economic hardship on our job creators without first ensuring that every layer of state government is operating more efficiently.
“Through good faith negotiations in 2019, the Governor agreed to support certain business incentives in exchange for the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Program. He is now reneging on his end of that deal. One of the first things I learned when I came to Springfield is the importance of being an honest broker, and this proposal, that takes away the very incentives he agreed to support, does not meet the spirit of those agreed negotiations.”
“We have to stop the shell games when it comes to producing a balanced budget, but what I saw today is that Governor Pritzker wants to continue ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul.’ Short-changing one budget area in exchange for another is not the right approach. We need rely on our appropriations committees to do line-by-line reviews of their budget areas so we can eliminate wasteful spending once and for all. It’s an imperative step toward eliminating the structural deficit within our budgets.