SPRINGFIELD - Democrats in the Illinois House opened the door to attacks from Republican challengers Thursday when most of them voted for 77 budget bills that together raised Illinois' budget for FY 2015 to $37.55 billion. And more budgets are expected to be voted on next week.
"This preposterous amount is nearly $3 billion higher in spending than a bipartisan resolution on spending caps passed earlier this year," Republican Jim Wozniak of Rock Island said Friday. "My opponent has shown why he cannot remain in Springfield, and why new leadership must be elected to save Illinois."
That's the first alarm Wozniak, 36, has sounded on the volatile spending issue and Democrat House member Mike Smiddy's support for unprecedented spending. Smiddy currently represents the 71st House District.
"I will not stand for these out of control budgets. I will not vote for budgets that will exceed the projected revenue of the state. I will fight to reduce waste and corruption, unlike my opponent," Wozniak said in a press release.
Thursday, Smiddy - and most other House Democrats - voted for $8.239 billion in expenditures for pension and Medicaid bills.
"That is billions to Medicaid, a program that is rife with fraud and abuse and that paid $12 million in benefits to deceased people and where as much as 40% of recipients may be ineligible," Wozniak said. "There are billions of dollars in fraud, waste and abuse that can be cut from the budget of Illinois. Cutting this wasteful spending would reduce taxes, and have no effect on the benefits provided to those actually deserving of them. My opponent does not want to take the effort apparently to fight against corruption."
Wozniak, a prosecutor and former city councilor, said "Our government should budget within its means s like every family in Illinois does. We cannot keep burdening our citizens, our businesses, and our future with this recklessness."