SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Analysis of the proposed budget recently passed by the Illinois Senate shows that further negotiations are needed to craft a better deal for taxpayers, state Rep. Katie Stuart said Monday.
“As a taxpayer, I want an end to the governor’s budget crisis, an end to Springfield’s games, and an honest, balanced budget that provides for our communities,” Stuart said. “We can’t afford another budget built on phony savings and short-sighted thinking. It’s clear we need to bring everyone back to the table and get serious about passing an honest budget.”
Stuart is concerned that the Senate plan does not close the Rauner budget deficit. Stuart 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 Stuart 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.
Stuart also expressed concern that the Senate’s plan fails to appropriate adequate early childhood education funds to meet federal guidelines. The plan lacks the proper funding for 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.
“There is too much at stake to hastily put together a deceptive budget that includes phony savings and will cost taxpayers in the short and long-term,” Stuart said. “I’m asking members from both sides of the aisle to come back to the table so that we can put together an honest, balanced budget for the people we represent.”