SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said Governor Pat Quinn’s Annual Budget Address on March 6 failed to address the unprecedented expansion of government in Illinois while making major cuts to essential public services such as Education and downstate transportation.
“The Governor delivered an address that said many of the same things he has in past years,” Sen. Rezin said. “He proposed a budget once again that relies on temporary revenues to fund permanent government services and spending is increasing yet again by $1.2 billion. Even with the increased spending, skyrocketing pension and Medicaid expenses are forcing areas of the budget such as Education to be cut by over $300 million.”
Governor Quinn’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposes to cut general funding for Secondary and Elementary Education by $308 million, which would be accomplished by reducing general state aid by $150 million and reducing the downstate transportation funding by $146 million.
“The past two years that I’ve been in office, the Governor and majority party have supported cuts to education funding,” Sen. Rezin said. “I have never supported education cuts in those two years. Once again, the Governor’s budget is designed to maximize the pain to education in Illinois in general, but to downstate and suburban schools in particular. Funding for them continues to decrease while other areas of the budget are growing out of control. For example, in the past two years, the Governor has hired over 2,800 new state employees.”
She says the Governor has not been able to make hard decisions and because of that, education continues to be cut. Furthermore, despite the 2011 income tax increase, Illinois still has $9.5 billion in unpaid bills and the Governor’s budget seeks to increase spending by $1.2 billion this fiscal year.
In order to put the state back on the right track, Sen. Rezin says that wasteful spending must be reduced and controlling pension payments, which will consume 22 percent of the budget this year, is a top priority. She stated that in the coming weeks, she would be advocating for strong, sensible budget solutions so that the vital state services can be protected.
Pictured, Sen. Rezin (right) listens to Gov. Quinn’s Budget Address with State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris) (left).
CLICK HERE to view the Senate GOP Analysis of the Governor’s proposed FY 14 Budget