SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Republicans in Illinois were largely critical of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s budget address.
They argue Pritzker’s proposals are not possible without a tax increase.
“Today we heard a long list of expensive promises totaling $2.7 billion in new spending, when the Governor himself projects revenue to be down $1.42 billion,” House Republican Leader Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savana) said. “This will require future tax increases or cuts to vital programs serving our most vulnerable.”
Many conservative lawmakers are worried that one-time federal funds during the COVID-19 pandemic are ending, Illinois isn’t financially ready to fund more programs.
“The recession is coming,” Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) said. “So, to build $3 billion in new brand-new spending into base is setting us all up for failure and what will become, I’m sure, a tax increase on the people of Illinois.”
The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget is forecasting what they describe as a mild recession in future years. They are projecting drop-offs in revenue for the state, but the Governor insists that projects like his new early childcare education initiative, Smart Start Illinois, are still affordable, even with a drop-off in revenue.
Many also argue Illinoisans are looking for permanent tax relief. Governor J.B. Pritzker suspended the increase to the motor fuel tax for six months and suspended the grocery tax for a year in 2022.
“If Illinois is going to have record revenue, like the Governor suggests, we should be paying down debt, saving for emergencies, and making permanent tax cuts like Indiana and other states are – instead of election year rebates,” Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) said.
On the other hand, most Democrats were on board with Pritzker’s proposals.
This is a developing story that will continue to be updated.