A local representative says Governor J.B. Pritzker has some good points in today’s State of the State budget address. However, Pritzker’s outlining of what he calls a balanced budget is anything but balanced.
100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville watched the Governor’s address from home today. He says it wasn’t because of the winter storm currently dumping nearly a foot of snow on the area, but because the address was moved to the Old State Capitol in Springfield with a limited number of attendees allowed by invitation.
Davidsmeyer says it’s the Governor’s job to try and paint a rosy picture of where the state is at the present time, and Pritzker’s outlining of what he calls a balanced budget with a surplus is leaving out a crucial point.
“I think he brought up some good ideas – thinking of things like creating a rainy day fund, things of that sort, paying off old bills. But for him to say that the federal bailout, the ten billion dollars in federal money that we received over the last couple of years had nothing to do with that is a little disingenuous.
The reality is revenues are up which is a good thing. The problem is revenues are up because of inflation, and the increased cost of goods which means the State of Illinois receives a greater amount of sales tax. Revenue is up about four hundred and sixty million for next year, but spending, which is annual spending, not one time projects, but annual spending is up two point five billion.”
Davidsmeyer says there is just no way to sustain those budget figures once the federal dollars and federal Covid dollars are taken out.
Pritzker’s budget also proposes $1 billion in tax cuts on property taxes, gas taxes, and other miscellaneous taxes. Davidsmeyer says the proposed cuts contradict the Governor’s message to the state not that long ago.
“It kind of shows that he has been trying to govern the State of Illinois through political polling when he goes from trying to pass one of the largest tax increases in the history of the state less than two years ago, spending fifty million dollars of his own personal money, to this year telling people that he is proposing a small tax cut, which will basically amount to pennies in the pockets of regular Illinoisans.”
Davidsmeyer says the reality is that Democrats still have a majority in the House and generally refuse to work with Republicans on these budgets. Davidsmeyer says he is hopeful that the Governor’s call for bipartisanship will actually come through this time, and that he would be happy to help work toward a better future for Illinois.