Assistant Republican Leader C.D. Davidsmeyer:
Today, Democrats passed a budget focused more on the upcoming election than the needs and responsibilities of the State. They wrote a bill to delay their gas tax increase, conveniently until after the election. They included delayed tax increases on businesses and a cuts in unemployment benefits, conveniently until after the election. These taxes will be increased; the Democrats just wanted to ensure that it didn’t happen before the election.
This budget includes $1.6 billion in pork projects in Democrat-only legislative districts. These include all sorts of things like a ‘pilot program’ for guaranteed minimum income for women in East St. Louis. This and all of the other projects amount to election-year bribes for their re-election, paid for by all Illinois taxpayers.
While the pandemic was rough on working families and businesses that the Governor shut down, Democrats in Springfield benefited from over $10 billion in federal COVID funds to sprinkle around, including $2.6 billion in pork projects only for their districts. They benefited from the billions of dollars sent to individuals, by seeing increased tax revenue. While the people of Illinois struggle with high inflation, the State benefits from increased sales tax revenue from the higher cost of products we buy every day.
While I appreciate the actions to pay down some pension debt and past unpaid employee healthcare benefits, they do so to the detriment of working families and businesses. By shifting dollars and paying down these debts, they have guaranteed a tax increase on every job in the state of Illinois and a cut in benefits to workers who are laid-off or have fallen on hard times.
The Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President all patted themselves on the back for an open, transparent, and inclusive process for a budget that we became aware of two days ago. Their rhetoric couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is there were no bipartisan budget negotiations. Republicans and the general public were cut out of the budget process. The truth is this budget was less open, less transparent, and less inclusive than any budget process in decades.
This is the most obvious election-year budget I have ever seen. The people of Illinois should not be fooled, and the Democrats in the Capitol should be ashamed.