SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) listened via Zoom to Governor JB Pritzker’s combined 2021 State of the State and FY 22 Budget Address on Wednesday. Severin says the format was as unique as the speech given by the usually affable and upbeat JB Pritzker.
“We saw a different Governor Pritzker today. I think he was very defensive and very partisan. The last year has been tough on everyone, and I think the Governor might be realizing that his decisions have had very negative impacts on the state budget and economic growth,” Severin said. “I was looking forward to hearing the list of cuts the Governor had put together to make his budget balance. Instead, I heard a lot of blaming Republicans for the state’s woes. That kind of falls flat because the Governor is the one that has been making all the decisions by Executive Order for the last year or so.”
Severin says Pritzker’s budget plan will also increase taxes on small businesses by $1 billion dollars.
“The Governor today mentioned many times his desire to close what he calls ‘corporate loopholes’ to help close part of the budget gap,” Severin said. “What that means is he wants to raise taxes on small businesses across the State that have been so badly hurt by his orders by a billion or so dollars to make his budget balance. Even after that, House Republicans have calculated the budget deficit to be around $1.5 billion. We have $5 billion in unpaid bills and a massive pension debt as well. There is no true balance to this budget, but there was a lot of blame-shifting in the speech.”
Severin says in 2019, Governor Pritzker ordered his Agency heads to produce a list of across-the-board cuts to state spending of up to as much as 6%.
“If that list of cuts exists, I have not seen it. If that list exists, the governor should produce it for the public and media to review, and lawmakers should debate the list of cuts through the General Assembly’s appropriations process. That’s the only way we will get to a truly balanced budget. Punishing small businesses and removing incentives for economic investment and growth will make the budget situation in Illinois worse, not better.”