Butler Questions Long-Term Impact of Budget Proposal

Today, new Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker presented his Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Proposal before a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) expressed surprise that the proposal relies so heavily on gimmicks previously decried by Democrats and the same failed policies that have created record debts.

“It’s surprising that the Governor would acknowledge the $3.2 billion structural deficit on the one-hand, yet propose to close it with similar gimmicks decried by my Democratic colleagues in the past on the other-hand,” said Butler. “This effectively makes his proposal $2.6 billion out of balance for the fiscal year.

“However, I am most concerned that this budget does nothing to address our current backlog of unpaid bills and proposes to further exacerbate our long-term pension debt with similar pseudo-pension holidays that failed under Gov. Blagojevich. Reducing pension payments and extending the funding ramp by seven years will ultimately add billions of dollars in more cost. This approach is exactly what has led to the record debts we are facing today.

“Fortunately, this is only a proposal and I hope these concerns, and others, can be addressed as the General Assembly negotiates over the coming weeks and months. If not, it will make it that much more difficult to improve our fragile economic situation and stop of the flow of people out of Illinois.”