State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) says the budget process just keeps getting more frustrating, as Democrats continue to pass new spending bills, including more than $1 billion in the last week.
"Last year, they passed a budget more than a billion dollars in the hole, we’re facing a massive shortfall for the next fiscal year, and we have $7 billion in unpaid bills," said Syverson. "But you wouldn’t know it from the actions of the majority party as they’ve passed more than a billion in new spending just this week."
Syverson pointed to a couple bills as examples of the multitude of spending bills advanced by Democrats this year, including Senate Bill 3511, a bill affecting the Community Care Program. Estimates place the price tag of this bill at $819 million in additional spending over the next four years.
Senate Bill 3508 deals with direct care programs and would eventually add over $300 million in state costs and another $300 million in federal costs.
Besides new spending, the majority party also advanced measures to cut revenue, including Senate Bill 2881, which eliminates the sales tax on condoms, incontinence products, diapers, and baby wipes. According to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, this would eliminate $24 million per year in state revenue.
“It doesn’t matter if the sponsors of these bills believe that their legislation has a good goal. You can’t do what you can’t pay for,” said Syverson. “We have to either reduce costs or increase revenue to balance the budget, but our colleagues across the aisle are doing the opposite on both counts.”
The Illinois Senate will reconvene on May 1st with just a few weeks left to pass a budget before the end of the regular legislative session.
“This is the same thing that’s been happening for far too long,” said Syverson. “We’ve seen the results of decades of unbalanced budgets and it’s led to late payments, underfunded pensions, layoffs, business closures, and people moving out of Illinois at record rates This stuff has to end.”