State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) is issuing the following statement on Governor JB Pritzker’s Budget Address.
“The one thing Democrats and Republicans should agree on is the severity of the financial problems facing our state and I think the Governor is acutely aware of the state financial issues but the budget he presented does not seem to acknowledge the financial realities of our state.
The Governor focused on all the new ways he is going to spend taxpayer money. I certainly agree that education funding and funding for MAP grants are important but how we pay for these cost increases is a vital question we really did not get answered today.
Of course, the Governor presented ideas such as recreational marijuana and legalized sports betting as ways to pay for all this spending, but none of these sources of revenue are even legal right now.
We are once again focusing on the wrong things when it comes to the state budget. I am all for prioritizing education and other worthwhile budget expenses but funding for these budget items should be based on money we have – not money we think we are going to get. For too long, our budget process has been based on fantasy numbers and not on real math and the end result has been disastrous.
There was little in his speech about ways to grow our economy or to lower the cost of government. Raising taxes is not going to grow our economy. Illinois lost 45,000 residents last year – the most by far of any Midwest state – and there is nothing the Governor said today that is going to make that number better. In fact, what he said today is only going to make that number worse. We needed vision and leadership and good ideas. Instead, all we got is more taxes and more spending. Very disappointing.”