SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said state lawmakers spent two days in Springfield on the taxpayers’ dime only to witness committee cancellations and virtually no real issues brought for a vote.
“These were the first session days following the Governor’s State of the State address and it was a total waste of time and money,” Sen. Rezin said. “It’s just more of the same in Springfield. We have major issues facing our state and yet all we did this week was vote to push the Governor’s budget address back five weeks. It would be laughable if it wasn’t extremely frustrating. Our constituents deserve better than this.”
Rezin stressed that lawmakers have the responsibility to engage in discussion and develop solutions to the major problems facing Illinois —something that is not being done at the onset of this legislative session.
The Governor announced this week that he wanted to move his annual budget address from February 19 to March 26 – the week after the primary election. The House and Senate both approved the budget address delay with the passage of Senate Bill 1227 on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Rezin said it seemed to be the sole reason lawmakers made the trip to Springfield.
“Delaying the budget address by five weeks is completely unacceptable.” Sen. Rezin said. “We can see through it as a purely political maneuver and the taxpayers of Illinois are the ones that are hurt by it. This budget year is crucial in order for Illinois to continue to strive towards a recovery, particularly as we face the rollback of the largest tax increase in our state’s history. Cutting the time of the budget process in half does nothing to help us achieve those goals.”
Sen. Rezin also noted that pushing back the budget address five weeks means lawmakers have five less weeks to examine and debate the Governor’s budget proposal.
“Governor Quinn has known for over a year when the budget address for this year was to be delivered to the General Assembly,” she said. “There are no surprises here – he should have been ready. The five week delay hurts the process and it is not in the best interest of the agencies that depend on the state for their funding.”
Sen. Rezin said taxpayers have a right to be upset about the productivity of state government when session days are not being used efficiently to achieve real results. She noted that her time could have been better spent back in her district serving her constituents, rather than wasting the taxpayers’ money accommodating the Governor’s political agenda.