Instead of working in bipartisan fashion to create a balanced budget and much-needed job reforms, Senate Democrats pushed through more irresponsible, unfunded spending while undermining the authority of the Governor’s office to negotiate contracts, according to Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).
“Estimates already showed state spending projected to hit $38 billion dollars with state revenue likely in the neighborhood of just $33 billion,” said Senator Syverson. “$5 billion shortfall is the largest budget gap in the state’s history.”
Democrats pushed through legislation that would spend an additional $373.3 million on MAP Grant funding, which is $8.4 million higher than spending in the previous fiscal year.
“This isn’t about MAP grants, this is about being responsible” said Senator Syverson. “Whether you pass one big unbalanced budget, or shove it through in small pieces, the end result is the same. We’re already on track to spend billions more than we take in, which means the money will run out long before everything is funded.”
Democrats also overrode Governor Rauner’s veto of a bill that would place extreme limitations of the bargaining power of the Governor’s office. The legislation would place unelected arbitrators as the ultimate authority on negotiations for state employee contracts. Supporters pushed the measure as a way to prevent a strike or lockout, despite Governor Rauner explicitly promising to not lock out state employees.
“This is nothing more than an attempt to limit the Governor’s ability to serve as THE representative for taxpayers in these negotiations,” said Senator Syverson. “Plus, this measure could very likely lead us to a new state contract that costs well in excess of $1 billion more a year, further exacerbating the out of control, reckless spending situation that the majority party has put the state in. For Illinois the day of reckoning is months away, not years away.”