Budget put Pork Projects Before People

Illinois House Republicans held a Capitol press conference Thursday to discuss the Democrats’ prioritization of pork projects over the people of Illinois. State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said there are “hundreds” of examples of spending for projects from Democrat-only legislators.

“That simply say ‘to go to this organization for operations,’ whatever that means,” Demmer said. “The state has no ability now to tie that to any performance metric, to try to reach any specific goal with it. It just says ‘to operations.” There is no oversight, there is no check and there is no balance.” […] Demmer said there’s a heavy reliance on federal COVID-19 relief dollars that will soon dry up. “Democrats in Illinois, like they have in the last several years, will have no choice but to come back to taxpayers and say ‘we need yet another income tax increase,’” Demmer said. Using billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds, Illinois Democrats passed a $46 billion budget in the early morning hours of April 9, 2022, which included billions in Democratic pork projects for Democrat-held districts. Instead of paying off the existing debt in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, Democrats chose to spend that money on pork-barrel projects for themselves. The Democrats’ failure to pay off the UI Trust Fund debt will lead to tax increases on Illinois jobs and reduced benefits for unemployed workers. These pork-barrel funds could have been used to enact permanent tax relief for Illinois families struggling with skyrocketing gas prices, high property taxes, and near record high inflation. Instead, the Democrat-passed budget created several small, temporary tax cuts that politicians can use in their re-election campaigns. This temporary tax relief will expire shortly after the November election. A much-trumpeted “motor fuel tax increase pause” will temporarily reduce the price of motor fuel by approximately two cents per gallon – a tiny fraction of the overall current price of gas. Furthermore, the motor fuel tax pause will end on December 31, 2022, leading to even higher gas prices in 2023.