Illinois State Budget Crisis, Teetering on the Edge of Shutdown?

LGILCapitolAs a Government Shutdown looms, Rauner and Madigan butt heads. July 1st is the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year. State House Democrats cannot pass a budget that governor Rauner will sign. In response Democrats, led by Speaker of the House Madigan, are planning to present a Temporary Budget to fund the state for one month. Rauner has vowed to sign nothing but a deficit cutting full 2016 budget. Madigan’s temporary $2.26 Billion budget for the month of July would fund Medicaid, corrections, state police and child care.

Rauner’s double speak is suspicious, in the same breath he is determined to bring deficit spending under control despite the costs, by vetoing every legislative budget; all while vowing to keep the fifth-largest U.S. state operating in the absence of an enacted spending plan. In a statement on Tuesday Rauner said, the state employees will be paid no matter how the legislative process concludes. This has left Attorney General Lisa Madigan scratching her head debating the constitutionality of continuing state operations without an active budget.

Rauner has signed individual spending bills for public works; however he has slashed payments to hospitals, the construction of airports and the financial support of low income housing services around the state. Rauner is attacking the services he deems unessential, fulfilling his promises to crony capitalists and the moneyed interests that elected him.

The same is true of State Democrats, who support the will of unions, pensioners, and state dependents, as well as vital human services that the state provides to dependent citizens. Illinois has the lowest credit rating of all 50 states, and has the worst funded state pension system. Illinois has problems. Is stringent, painful austerity the answer? – No. Is continued deficit spending with no increase in revenue the answer? – No. The truth is, Illinois needs new revenue and to support ease of access to the marketplace economy. While Bureaucrats are not good, neither is painful austerity.
Often austerity causes more harm than good. Sending the unemployed into the streets fresh out of a job is no way to support an economy. Rendering 30 or 40 years of pension payments useless, insuring that the sick worsen, or the homeless rot is not good. However a balance does need to be forged. Democrats have dominated Illinois for decades perhaps a century. Neither party is serving the will or interests of average citizens.

Critical Provocation will continue to report on State House activity as it develops.


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