Today Illinois Democrats pushed through a partisan, unbalanced budget for Fiscal Year 2021 that increases spending by 6.8%. The budget spends $42.8 billion while revenues are expected to be only $36.8 billion, $5 billion of which comes from additional borrowing to be paid back over the next decade. In response to the passage of the budget, State Representative Grant Wehrli issued the following statement:
“Democrats own this budget because they shut out Republicans and decided to go it alone. Not only did they decide to increase spending at a time when state revenues fell off a cliff, but they included pay raises for themselves. It is unconscionable that in the middle of this health and financial crisis, when tens of thousands of Illinoisans have seen wages reduced or eliminated altogether, that Democrats would raise their own pay. House Republicans filed a bill to reduce pay to FY2019 levels, but our bill was denied a hearing and vote.
“We had an opportunity to return to Springfield this week and work together on a responsible budget that acknowledged Illinois’ new financial realities. Instead, House Republicans were completely shut out of the final budget product, and Democrats rejected any notion of fiscal discipline. This is a terrible budget.
“I am deeply concerned with the enormous amount of control and authority that Democrats handed to Governor Pritzker within the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The Governor, who has mismanaged many elements of the COVID-19 response, will have nearly unlimited power and discretion over an incredibly large sum of money within this budget. Trusting him to manage large portions of our budget is not wise given his recent missteps with the handling of COVID-19.”