Sen. Paul Schimpf criticizes new $85 billion budget
State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo), who voted “no” on the swiftly passed new $85 billion budget, called it a "band-aid" that "does nothing to solve our long term problems."
The budget was passed on a bipartisan vote of 83-35 and 40-19, respectively. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed it all into law June 5. The budget includes a detailed $40 billion spending plan, graduated tax rates and a $1,600 annual pay raise for lawmakers, which received pushback from some Republicans.
“At a time when Illinois faces extreme fiscal challenges, we need more than a band-aid, status quo budget,” Schimpf said. “Spending 99.6% of incoming revenue for a new record spending level of over $40 billion is not responsible government. This budget fails to limit spending growth or provide any structural reforms, and does nothing to solve our long term problems.”
Part of the $85 billion budget includes $45 billion in infrastructure alone, which will be used on new roads, bridges and state buildings, but will come with a tax hike passed along to taxpayers. In order to pay for the new infrastructure, the motor fuel tax would double and taxpayers would see tax increases for parking, vehicle licensing and cigarettes.
The budget woes have led Illinois to have the lowest credit rating in the U.S., according to Austin Berg, director of content strategy at Illinois Policy.
Earlier this year, there was bipartisan support in the capital for a spending cap that linked state spending growth to taxpayer income growth, Berg said.
In November, voters can choose to vote on Pritzker’s tax constitutional amendments, but a balanced budget and spending cap are still elusive as elected officials continue to disregard fiscal responsibility, Berg said.