In the waning days of the spring legislative session the Illinois Senate has begun hearings on a Fiscal Year 2014 budget package that according to State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) does nothing but ensure that the tax increase passed in January of 2011 will be permanent.
“In the pieces of the budget we have seen so far I see no indications that the majority party in the Senate has any intention of reducing spending to ensure that the 67 percent tax hike passed in 2011 will expire,” explained Brady. “We have seen spending increase every year since the tax hike went into effect. It is time that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle got serious about bringing spending in line with revenues and ensuring that the future of this state is secure for our children and grandchildren.”
According to Brady the FY 14 budget spends $1.7 billion more than the FY 13 budget adopted last spring. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimates that when the income tax increase is set to expire General Revenue Fund revenues will be $31.5 billion. Brady pointed out this budget appropriates $4 billion more than what will be available at that time. According to the State Comptroller by the end of the year the bill backlog will be more than when the tax increase was passed, reaching an estimated $7.5 billion.
“Every year we go through the process of creating, debating, and passing a budget,” said Brady. “And every year, we watch our Democrat colleagues pass a budget that increases spending, passes out pork to special projects, and fails to address the fundamental instability in Illinois’ fiscal foundation. It’s time everyone got serious about putting Illinois back on track.”
At this point in the budget process the Senate has heard legislation making appropriations for K-12 and higher education, higher education operations, state board of education operations, human services agencies, and supplemental appropriations. Additional measures will still need to be heard before the scheduled adjournment on May 31.