State leaders announced they’ve reached an agreement on the fiscal year 2024 budget, with lawmakers filing accompanying bills.
PRESS RELEASE from the
ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977
Illinois’ budget making process is broken:
Statement from the Illinois Policy institute
Springfield, Ill. (May 24, 2023) – State leaders announced they’ve reached an agreement on the fiscal year 2024 budget, with lawmakers filing accompanying bills.
Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research at the Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement:
“Lawmakers are poised to vote shortly on a new state budget after days of closed-door meetings and little transparency. The fact that no one beyond a select group of lawmakers – let alone anyone from the public – has even seen this massive document underscores just how very flawed this process continues to be.
“Illinois’ budget-making process is highly politicized. There is no standard, official guideline for how to estimate state revenues. A lack of reliable information for budget planning combined with a lack of meaningful spending constraints have made tax hikes and borrowing the norm for how Illinois does government.
“Is anyone in Springfield paying attention to the cost of haphazard budgets? They hurt the state’s economy. They hurt the state’s taxpayers.
“And those taxpayers are responding: The combination of higher taxes and worsening services often leads Illinoisans to make a home in another state. Nearly 142,000 made that choice last year alone
“Despite what lawmakers say, the budget they pass will inherently be unbalanced as the allocated pension contribution is more than $4 billion less than actuarial analysis says is required to fully fund Illinois’ five main pension systems.
“Rather than patching a budget together at the last minute every year so the public and even other lawmakers have no time to read it, challenge it or improve it, state lawmakers should pursue reforms that will put Illinois in a better, more sustainable financial position.
“They need to deliver the services and show the fiscal responsibility that will bring people to Illinois, rather than continue to drive them away.”
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