SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, continues to urge the governor to return to the negotiating table and craft an honest balanced budget, he is warning that Quad-City families cannot afford a Senate proposal built on phantom savings and irresponsible budget games.
“As a taxpayer, I want an honest budget that brings an end to Bruce Rauner’s unnecessary and destructive impasse, but it’s clear that more work needs to be done,” Halpin said. “A line-by-line review of the Senate’s budget shows that there is still a lot of work to do before I say this plan is right for the folks in the Quad Cities.”
Halpin is concerned that the Senate plan does not close the Rauner budget deficit. Halpin and House appropriations committees reviewing the budget proposal passed by the Senate have found a number of 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 Halpin 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.
Halpin 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.
“I can’t support a budget that isn’t honest with taxpayers,” Halpin said. “I continue to urge the governor to return to the table and work with us to put together a straightforward, balanced budget.”