With one day left in the spring legislative session House Democrats have finally released the first draft of their budget…all 3,000+ pages of it. The first draft raises state spending to the highest level ever.
Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer said, "A year and a half ago, Gov. Pritzker was threatening Illinois voters with draconian cuts or across-the-board tax increases unless they approved his $3.4 billion tax increase amendment. But voters said no. Now, as Gov. Pritzker is running for re-election, he’s used the avalanche of federal bailout cash to paint a rosy picture of the state budget. But the facts show a different story. This year’s budget increases spending by 8% on state operations, while revenues are projected to decline by 1% over the same period—which makes this budget framework untenable. The problem is that Gov. Pritzker’s budget spends as if voters approved his tax hike—but they didn’t. When the federal bailout runs out, Gov. Pritzker will revert to pushing".
Governor Pritzker’s federally-funded budget ignores the financial pressures in Illinois’ immediate future.
Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick, "This isn’t a triumph of good management; the state is simply experiencing an inflation-induced sugar high. When the state crashes we will still have the same problems, but without the federal funds to bail us out. No structural changes have been made. No permanent property tax relief has been extended, and no regulatory relief has been implemented. Eventually, the pressures of inflation will catch up to the expense side of the ledger. There are storm clouds on the horizon.”