SPRINGFIELD – Illinois' $35.4 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2015 is being predicated upon a number of one-time revenue enhancements, and that's a huge problem for two Republican senators - Darin LaHood of Dunlap and Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove were unhappy with the Democrats' FY 2015 budget.
“It’s clear that the Democratic majorities are serving up this budget to continue with their ‘doom and gloom’ forecasts to shove the 2011 ‘temporary’ tax increase down the throats of the Illinois taxpayers,” LaHood said. “Illinoisans have been paying the price for bad fiscal policies since the days of Rod Blagojevich in 2003. The past 12 years have been a constant reminder of why this majority party has exhibited an abject failure of leadership on fiscal matters. Our citizens deserve better but they keep getting a tired refrain of ‘tax and spend,’ ‘tax and spend and then tax even more.’”
Senator Oberweis agreed that the Democrat majority is committed to spending, rather than working within the constraints of the state's revenue.
“In 2011, during a dead-of-night, lame-duck session, Democrat legislative leaders shafted Illinois taxpayers and now lack the courage to face up to the consequences, relying instead on the fiscal gimmickry of one-time revenue sources that only compound the problem down the road. To make matters worse, they also increase spending,” Oberweis said.
The 25th District Senator said Democrat legislative leaders did not have the votes needed to make the 2011 “temporary” income tax hike permanent; however, the issue is likely to resurface after the general election in the fall.
To forestall such a maneuver, the Senate Republican Caucus on May 30 committed to opposing any tax increase offered in the lame-duck session of the General Assembly. Led by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), members of the Republican caucus also called on their Democrat colleagues to join them.
Americans for Prosperity Illinois' David From whose organization led a grassroots fight against the tax hike had a different take on the budget that's being sent to the governor.
“There is plenty to dislike in the budget passed by the General Assembly today, specifically that it commits the state to spending more than anticipated revenue and relies on budgetary gimmicks. But, it does represent another victory for Illinois taxpayers by keeping the income tax hike temporary," From said.
"This spring, taxpayers sent the clear message to politicians that they do not want to send more of their money to Springfield in the form of higher taxes. Fortunately, many legislators heeded this sentiment, killing three major tax hike proposals- the Progressive tax, the Millionaire’s tax and making permanent the 2011 tax hike. AFP-Illinois will continue to stand with Illinois taxpayers and help give voice to their demands for more good jobs and more pro-growth policies, while opposing future attempts to raise taxes.”
Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-New Lenox) also celebrated defeating the Democrats efforts to raise taxes - but cautioned about what lies ahead.
“We won the battle this legislative session in defeating the Democrats’ plans for yet another income tax increase, but we didn’t win the war,” Radogno said. “The Democrat leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn have all but admitted they will raise taxes after the November election. The people of Illinois need to join us in the effort to block their maneuvers.”
The main components of the FY 2015 budget are contained in House Bills 6060, 6063, 6094, 6095, 6096 and 6097.