SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) issued the following statement after hearing Governor JB Pritzker’s Budget Address Wednesday.
“Today, the Governor offered a pretty rosy picture of Illinois’ finances. Optimism is great, but realistic planning is better, especially when it comes to budgeting,” Severin said. “If you examine what he said, instead of how he said it, I heard more of the same tax and spend policies that have inflated our state’s budget and blown a hole in the pockets of hard working families. As of today, the State of Illinois still owes more than $7 billion in unpaid back bills. We can barely afford the budget that we passed last year and now we’re being asked to implement further increases.”
Severin also complained that Governor Pritzker took improper credit for Illinois’ unemployment rate being the lowest in its history.
“The Governor spent too much time attacking President Trump today and failed to give the President proper credit for building a record national economy,” Severin said. “I’m not sure there are many people from the 117th district that would give Governor Pritzker credit for reducing Illinois’ unemployment rate. What is clear after today’s speech is that Governor Pritzker wants to raise taxes in order to pay for increased spending to the tune of about $2.2. billion.”
Severin explained that the Budget Address provides lawmakers with the Governor’s spending priorities, but the important work of actually passing a balanced budget falls on lawmakers.
“We as legislators need to make sure we have a transparent, open, and honest process to build a budget that lives within our means,” Severin said. “That phrase ‘live within our means’ always seems to be missing from these big speeches. But, implementing that principle in our budget making process is the only way Illinois will climb out of the fiscal hole that we’re in. Southern Illinoisans are always making do with what we have, and I think it is time for Illinois government to finally do the same.”