Instead of leading, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) says Governor JB Pritzker is again proposing the same failed policies that have made Illinois one of the worst run states in the country.
“The Governor has a real opportunity to move our state in a new direction, but instead all he has offered is more of the same,” Halbrook. “Anyone looking at this budget in the hopes that any of the structural problems in Illinois would be addressed is going to be very disappointed. It’s time to get Illinois’ fiscal house in order. The house is on fire, and the Governor is boarding up the windows all the while suggesting he has it all under control and there is nothing to see here.”
The Governor’s $42 billion budget relies on nearly $1 billion in tax increases on small businesses; fund sweeps and other gimmicks. If the budget were based on current law, the budget would be out of balance by $1.653 billion. That deficit would be in addition to the state’s $5 billion unpaid bill backlog, $4.3 billion in short-term debt and $141 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.
While the Governor is asking for a stand-alone bill to allocate $60 million to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and he is asking for additional funds for the Department of Child and Family Services and the Department of Public Health, there does not seem to be a plan to improve delivery of services at these agencies other than to throw more money at the problem.
“The state has spent money on a myriad of different ways to improve efficiencies and customer service and so spending money has never been the problem,” Halbrook said. “The problem has been that none of the spending has produced tangible results. I have a really hard time giving the Governor more money to spend when all he has done is spend more money to make the customer service at these agencies worse.”
Finally, Halbrook noted that the hype surrounding the Governor’s budget is based on the dishonest assertion that the Governor is not raising taxes.
“Eliminating tax breaks on small businesses is a tax increase,” Halbrook said. “These taxes will hurt small businesses and ultimately hurt consumers with higher prices that will be the result of higher taxes. The Governor is raising taxes, and to say otherwise is simply not a true statement.”