Illinois House Republicans are pushing for greater transparency and public input in the state budgeting process. In light of recently disclosed errors in the FY22 State Budget, members of the Illinois GOP said the process needs to be changed during a Capitol press conference this morning.
Governor J.B. Pritzker exercised amendatory veto power yesterday after his office noted several dates for appropriations for some programs wouldn’t take effect until next year instead of July 1st.
100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville says the process needs to change and give transparency to not only lawmakers but the people of Illinois.
“I’ve been filing a bill for about five or six years now that requires the budget to be posted online for at least seventy-two hours prior to any vote. When I was on the Jacksonville City Council, we always had two votes on our budget. We had a vote and then two weeks later in our normal meeting we would have another vote. That allowed the general public to come in and see the budget.”
Davidsmeyer says when a new Speaker of the House was elected earlier this year, lawmakers were told it was a new day in Illinois. He says however that new day has the same processes and even some of the same people as the old day.
“The working groups work behind the scenes and they make up random cuts to the budget. They will say, ah let’s cut five percent across the board, and they do that because they know the Speaker is not actually going to use those numbers. They are crafting them behind the scenes, and I will say the reason that they don’t want transparency in this process is not because they are worried about the minority party supporting, they are worried about their own members coming up with reasons not to support bad budgets.”
Davidsmeyer says Democrats didn’t have an open process to the budget and now are considering changing the form of voting to a remote process for fixing the budget.
He says the budget is the number one job of state lawmakers and called it ridiculous that members of the majority party are unwilling to come back to the Capital to vote on amending the budget.
House members approved remote voting shortly before they approved amending the veto along party lines 71 – 43.