The Illinois General Assembly adjourned Saturday morning following an all-night session to pass a state budget and a temporary tax relief package scheduled to take effect July 1, 2022. State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) issued the following statement:
“Next year’s state budget, crafted and approved by Democrat lawmakers, may look good on paper. You’re going to hear a lot about increased spending for social programs, law enforcement and education. While most of these programs are worthy of these increases, what you’re not going to hear about is the $1.4 billion Democrats are spending on pet projects in their districts. Also buried in this 3,000-page bill, Democrats rewarded themselves with a $2,500 pay raise. This budget spends 10 percent more than last year’s record-setting spending plan. It is a billion dollars more than Governor Pritzker’s proposed budget.
Our state finances are not in the clear. Our debts continue to far exceed our income. Even with the federal bailout, our “improved” credit rating is still one of the worst in the nation. We are in no better financial shape than we were prior to this administration taking office. The federal bailout money gave the state a lifeline but in no way has, nor will fill the gap between income and expenses.
The truth is we’re still broke.
In 2020, Governor Pritzker and his Democrat allies pushed for a progressive income tax to meet their spending demands. It was soundly rejected by the voters. Twenty-nine months later, with an election looming, record inflation and the highest gas prices in U.S. history, now and only now, the Democrats want to provide the people of Illinois with temporary tax relief. It’s not surprising that most of this relief will expire shortly after the election. The state budget that was approved is nothing more than an election-year gimmick. It puts Illinois deeper into debt without any plan to address pension and spending reforms.”