SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As he begins a new term in office, state Rep. Jay Hoffman outlined his legislative priorities by emphasizing the need for legislators from both parties to work together to find solutions to the problems facing the state of Illinois, especially the budget impasse.
“The state budget should not be a political football that can be used in order to gain political power,” Hoffman said. “As elected officials, there are consequences for our actions, and for every day we continue without a balanced budget more damage is done to people and businesses in this state.”
Governor Bruce Rauner has not signed a full state budget into law since taking office two years ago, despite the passage of several budgets out of the legislature. In that time state colleges and universities, social service providers, healthcare providers and other organizations who depend on payments from the state have operated under the uncertain conditions of not knowing when or if they will be paid. Meanwhile, Rauner has allowed the state’s backlog of unpaid bills to grow from $4.5 billion to $13.5 billion which has done severe damage to the state’s credit rating, driving residents and businesses out of the state.
The budget impasse has eliminated childcare assistance funding for more than 70,000 children. It has also forced state colleges and universities to lay off more than 1,000 employees and cut programs, thus damaging local communities and diminishing the quality of education provided to students. Healthcare providers who administer breast-cancer screening programs, necessary care for the elderly and other essential services are also being forced to reduce or eliminate the services they provide.
“Working families and small businesses are two of the groups most negatively impacted by this impasse despite being two of the groups who depend most of the stability and support that the state can provide,” Hoffman said. “In order to do right by Illinois families and businesses we must come together and pass a responsible budget.
Rep Jay Hoffman
261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1333 FAX
312 S. High St.
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 416-7409 FAX