State Senator Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa) joined fellow Senate Republican colleagues on Tuesday at a statehouse press conference to oppose the governor’s plan to borrow money to balance the state’s budget.
Sen. Schmidt called the governor’s $8.75 billion borrowing plan “irresponsible” and that such an action would put Illinois in even greater financial danger in the years ahead.
PHOTO RIGHT - State Senator Suzi Schmidt (R-Lake Villa), far right, stands with fellow Senate Republicans (from left to right) Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Sue Rezin (R-Morris) to oppose the governor's $8.75 billion borrowing plan at a press conference at the statehouse blue room on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. (Credit: Illinois Senate Staff photographer Jay Barnard)
“We cannot keep up this practice of spending today and paying later,” Sen. Schmidt said. “It’s an irresponsible way to manage the budget and not a so-called ‘solution’ that I support at all.”
The governor’s proposal can be found in Senate Bill 3 and would allow the governor to use the borrowed money to be spent on anything, Sen. Schmidt said, from current bills to future bills to payments to the state’s pension system.
The final cost to the state, however, would be an additional $4 billion in interest payments. Furthermore, the bonds would be paid off over 15 years, but with an escalating repayment scheme – meaning the state would be backloading its debt payments with small amounts today, but tremendously large payments in the future years.
“This is a bad idea that will not only cost taxpayers of the state more money, but also put future lawmakers in an even greater fiscal crunch than we are in right now,” Sen. Schmidt said. “And right now, we can’t even handle the state’s budget pressures. The people of the 31st District sent me to Springfield to make cuts – not to keep digging the hole deeper.”
Senate Bill 3 will require a “supermajority” affirmative vote of 3/5ths of each chamber to pass, meaning bipartisan support would be needed for its passage. Sen. Schmidt said she was standing united with the Senate Republican Caucus in opposing the bill.
“I cannot support this legislation, because I know Illinois cannot afford it,” Sen. Schmidt said.