Yesterday was an unprecedented day at the Illinois Capitol. House Democrats brought up 77 different spending bills to cobble together the state budget; breaking the normal practice of only 5 spending bills, one for each Appropriations Committee (Elementary & Secondary Education, Higher Education, Human Services, General Services and Public Safety).
Earlier this spring, Republicans and Democrats agreed to a revenue estimate of $34.5 Billion, representing the amount of money the bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) projects the State to bring in during Fiscal Year 2015, which begins July 1. This number includes letting the temporary income tax increase expire on schedule at the end of this year.
The dozens of spending bills the majority party approved Thursday amounts to at least $37.3 Billion in total spending - a staggering $2.8 Billion MORE than the number we agreed to in March. By voting on all this extra spending but NOT voting on what the revenue will be to pay for it, Democrats are virtually guaranteeing that the "temporary" income tax increase will be made permanent.
It is clearly unconstitutional for Democrats to pass a budget that is not balanced. We need to restore accountability to our budget process.
For this reason, I voted NO on every spending bill yesterday. We simply cannot allow the state to continue spending money we do not have. It's not only unconstitutional - it is immoral to saddle our children with a mountain of debt and a state in decline. Instead, we should be responsibly reducing spending and prioritizing the state's limited resources on education, public safety and vital services for our seniors, disabled and veterans in our community.
Rep. Senger represents the 41st State House District, and she is running for U.S. Congress in the 11th CD.