Illinois Opportunity Project alerts Illinoisans to contact their state lawmakers before this week's vote:
A proposed piece of legislation (HB 6240) making it’s way through the Statehouse in Springfield would allow lawmakers to borrow $4 billion in effort to pay off the state’s $9 billion backload of unpaid bills. This piece of legislation would allow lawmakers to maintain the unaffordable status quo on state spending, rather than tackle the reforms our state desperately needs.
Already, Illinois has borrowed billions of dollars three times in the past decade ($10 billion in 2003, $3.5 billion in 2010, and $3.7 billion in 2011). Each time, it has served little purpose except to add to our state deficit and kick the can down the road regarding the reforms necessary. It hasn’t solved anything for us before, and it won’t this time.
When lawmakers passed the largest income tax increase in Illinois history in 2011, the explicit purpose, stated by Gov. Quinn and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, was to generate more revenue to go toward our unpaid bills. Instead, the mountain of unpaid bills remains, despite record amounts of revenue. What reason do taxpayers have to trust the same lawmakers this time?
If state spending were limited to inflation plus population growth since 1990, our state budget today would be $20 billion annually. Instead it’s over $33 billion. This $9 billion pile of unpaid bills that our state has now wouldn’t exist if legislators had been able to responsibly manage state finances in the past. If lawmakers are allowed to borrow billions of dollars again, they have no reason to change.
Tell your lawmakers: No more borrowing! State Capitol switchboard is 217 782 2000.