The House of Representatives approved a $42.8 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2021 during an emergency session late Saturday evening. According to the latest estimates, the budget will result in a deficit of at least $6 billion, if not more. State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) voted against the deficit budget scheduled to take effect July 1st.
“The budget rammed through tonight is severely out of balance without borrowing and imposing higher income taxes,” said Rep. Caulkins. “There are no spending cuts again this year which is irresponsible but typical of the democratic majority. We have not had a truly balanced budget since 2001. Unfortunately the democrat led General Assembly chose to put a tremendous burden on future generations.”
As of Saturday, May 23rd, the State of Illinois owes more than $7.4 billion in unpaid bills, with 74,064 invoices waiting to be paid. Illinois’ estimated revenue for FY 21 which begins July 1, 2020, and ends July 1, 2021 is $36.8 billion. Yet, the Democrat-controlled legislature approved a $42.8 billion budget, including a plan to borrow $5 billion to fill in the excessive spending.
Rep. Caulkins added, “Over the last few months Governor Pritzker has threatened to withhold funding to local governments. How can we trust him to fairly administer a budget that could hold the taxpayer’s hostage in our state?
On the House floor Saturday evening, Caulkins discussed a budget exercise he participated in during his first year in the House of Representatives that cut almost every agency’s spending. Last year he estimated the budget to be about $2 billion upside down, however, the revenue shortfall was way worse than expected.
Caulkins closed by saying, “Let’s do the right thing for the people of this state, let’s get back to together, let’s work and find a way to do it, I know you can do it, we’re willing to do it, you’ve got a lot of smart people on your side…this isn’t the right budget, this isn’t the right time, and this isn’t the right place. I ask you please, give us an opportunity to fix this.”
Listen to Rep. Caulkins floor speech concerning the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget from Saturday night here.