Dodge says new budget does not go 'far enough in terms of reforms'
Jim Dodge, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, insists that the new state budget recently signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner isn’t the one he would have put forth, even though he concedes that lawmakers deserve some credit for coming together to get something done at such a pivotal time for the state.
“It was critical for the state to have a budget in place,” Dodge told the Prairie State Wire. “Typically, it’s something that reflects an administration’s priorities, and it is imperative that we avoid further damage to the state’s financial reputation and credit rating. Being that this is a compromise piece of legislation, naturally it doesn’t get down to the structural changes that need to be addressed. That’s what this upcoming election will be about."
After both chambers of the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for passage, Rauner, who has found himself in an intense re-election battle against Democrat J.B. Pritzker, recently signed off on the new $38.5 billion spending plan.
Dodge, who is running for state treasurer in November, isn’t willing to go quite that far, citing an Illinois Policy Institute report that suggests that the budget plan could already be as much as $1.5 billion out of balance.
“I think they’re right about some things maybe being out of balance,” he said. “It’s the same with any budget, be it a government, business or household one. It comes down to some things being projected or certain assumptions being made about them. If they don’t pan out, then everything else can be out of balance.”
Dodge added that the lack of reforms in the spending plan also give him reason for pause.
“I don’t think it goes far enough in terms of reforms,” he said. “For example, it adds to spending for education, which could certainly be a good thing for our children, but that doesn’t come from any reforms and just comes from certain taxes being raised to even higher levels.”
Dodge previously told the Prairie State Wire that he thinks it’s critical that voters stay engaged and send the kind of people to Springfield who will put the public's interests ahead of everything else.
“We know... [that] budgets and what have you can all be modified if you have a majority in Springfield and the support of a like-minded governor [who is] committed to real and substantial change,” he said.