SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following a series of hearings on the budget proposal recently passed by the Illinois Senate, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, urged further negotiations to craft a more responsible state spending plan that cuts wasteful government spending without jeopardizing the economic security of middle-class families.
“Many of my colleagues have raised serious concerns about the Senate’s budget proposal, which need to be addressed as we continue to work in good faith to pass a responsible budget,” Mussman said. “The people we represent need a fair and responsible budget, and they need it now. However, after careful review, the Senate’s plan is not an acceptable, balanced budget, as it contains phony savings and disguised costs.”
Mussman is concerned that the Senate budget plan does not close the Rauner budget deficit. Mussman and House appropriations committees reviewing the budget proposal passed by the Senate have found a number phantom savings and other budgetary gimmicks that will cost taxpayers in the long run. The Senate proposal would authorize billions of dollars in new borrowing, but does not budget the payments needed to repay this debt. The proposal also includes savings from a pension bill that is not yet law and would only achieve short term savings while increasing costs down the road. It also assumes savings from a proposed increase to state employee insurance premiums which has not been agreed to by employees themselves.
While Mussman has fought to restore funding for breast cancer screenings, services for the developmentally disabled and victims of domestic violence, the Senate’s budget plan cuts millions of dollars from these programs.
Mussman also expressed concern that the Senate’s plan does not appropriate adequate early childhood education funds to meet federal guidelines, failing to properly fund critical services necessary to helping children achieve their full potential. Additionally, the Senate’s proposal contains only a portion of the funding needed to sustain MAP grants, which help 130,000 Illinois students attend college.
“With so much at stake, it is critical that we come together and pass a budget that does not put taxpayers on the hook,” Mussman said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and Governor Rauner to do what is right for the families of Illinois and return to the negotiating table to craft a better deal.”