Springfield – Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his second annual budget address. State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) responded to the governor’s remarks.
“The General Assembly has some work to do,” said Rep. Demmer. “I disagree with Governor Pritzker’s proposal to spend $1.4 billion of hypothetical revenue, and his threat to cut healthcare and education spending unless voters approve his tax increase. Instead, I’ll work with colleagues on a balanced budget that takes advantage of revenue growth from our strong national economy and low unemployment. We can pass a responsible budget without another tax increase.”
Yesterday, Rep. Demmer participated in a press conference with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and other members of House Republican leadership to discuss their Fiscal Year 2021 budget priorities. In that press conference, Rep. Demmer pointed to growth in state tax revenues as an opportunity to hold the line on taxes even as new investments in programs are made.
“Last year, lawmakers were able to craft a bipartisan, balanced F20 budget without tax increases because we listened to each other’s priorities and compromised,” Rep. Demmer continued. “It is our hope that we can replicate that process for a successful FY21 budget. Thanks to the strong national economy, state income and sales tax revenues are up nearly $1 billion over last year. I urge my Democratic colleagues to show spending restraint because we don’t need any new taxes to balance the budget while making new investments in education and other programs.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker has on several occasions asked his agency directors and department secretaries to propose spending reductions in their budgets. Most recently in September, Deputy Governor Dan Hynes and the GOMB director instructed agencies to identify 6.5% in reductions to achieve efficiencies that do not result in hardships on those who receive state services. Rep. Demmer called on budget makers to consider those potential reductions in spending when negotiating the FY21 budget.
“Even as tax revenues grow thanks to the strong economy, lawmakers and state officials should be looking for efficiencies and spending cuts everywhere we can,” said Rep. Demmer. “Appropriations committees in the General Assembly should be considering these proposed cuts from agency directors when crafting the FY21 budget. We have an obligation to cut spending whenever efficiencies can be made so we can give taxpayers real value for their hard-earned tax dollars.”
You can watch Rep. Demmer’s press conference remarks from yesterday HERE.