Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Republican lawmakers disappointed in governor's budget proposal

State Government

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 4, 2020


Illinois Republicans were disappointed after hearing Gov. J.B. Pritzker's budget proposal last month.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said while he gave Pritzker an A+ for optimism, realism made for a completely different story.

"Unfortunately, we’re just coming through a period of the largest tax increase in history and we’re now deciding that’s not enough and now we want another a billion and a half increase," Oberweis told Prairie State Wire. "At some point, we’re going to have to stop driving people out of the state of Illinois."

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he disagreed with the governor a lot and was frustrated with the tax increase.

"...We just had the largest tax increase in state history and it’s never enough," Rose told Prairie State Wire. "You’re basically asking for another tax increase to justify $1.6 billion in spending. It’s got to stop eventually."

State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, said he didn't agree with the $1.6 billion in new spending.

"...The government needs to make sacrifices," McClure told Prairie State Wire. "You can’t constantly ask the taxpayers to make sacrifices after adding tax increases and say we need more, but yet we’re not going to do anything to be more efficient."

State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, told Prairie State Wire it was unfortunate to see Pritzker doubling down on a tax increase plan.

"(I'm) even more disappointed that he now threatens education, Medicare and Medicaid, and local government, who has really taken the brunt in budget problems over the years," DeWitte said. "I’m really disappointed in his proposal and really concerned that if it doesn’t pass, who is going to pay the price for not approving that?"

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, told Prairie State Wire while Pritzker referred to austere times, his budget proposal did not reflect that.

"The governor's proposing an increase in spending of a little over $2 billion and that’s a big number," Righter said. "What’s more troublesome about that is two-thirds of that is predicated on his tax increase plan, which hasn’t been approved by voters."

State Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Quincy, said Pritzker's entire budget was predicated on a tax increase.

"...Just two years ago we had Illinois' largest income tax increase in the state and I don’t think Illinoisans need another tax increase," Tracy told Prairie State Wire. "If they’re going to remain in the state they don’t want to see any new taxes."

State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said Pritzker faces many challengers because he represents a liberal-leaning Democratic party and the party's spending habits need to be "placated," he told Prairie State Wire.

"(The) foundation of the budget is poor," Brady said. "The fact that he is relying on a tax increase that voters have not even voted on yet or said yes to is a bad premise."

State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said while he recognized the budget proposal was a starting point, he told Prairie State Wire he had real concerns over the $1.6 billion in new spending.

"I feel we need to be working on job creation and new job opportunities and protecting job providers that are currently here," Fowler said.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, said there were a lot of positive things in the budget, but that he was very concerned with the new spending.

"That’s not a good thing to do and puts Illinois back like we were in the past when we spent more than was coming in," Syverson told Prairie State Wire. "That caused problems. If we can’t balance our budget now that’s going to be a problem."

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said he was disappointed with the excess spending.

"The problem isn’t a lack of revenue. It’s a lack of responsibility when it comes to spending," Plummer told Prairie State Wire. "We’re asking businesses and families to tighten its belt and cut back on spending but I think it’s time for Springfield to do that."

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, called the proposal "short on specifics and high on fluff."

"Our economy nationwide is booming and this is the time we need to be getting our financial house in order and stabilize our spending," Schimpf told Prairie State Wire. "We don’t need new spending increases. I didn’t think it was a budget address that gave a full picture to Illinois."

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, told Prairie State Wire that the proposal a non-starter.

"What I learned today is the path to rainbows and unicorns runs through yet another tax increase," McConchie said. "What I heard from the governor is that we need to spend more money and, unfortunately, he was setting up the budget in manner that requires yet another tax increase to be balanced."

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