|SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (April 26, 2018) – Today, state Sens. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, and Michael Connelly, R-Naperville, showed bipartisan support of SJRCA 21 and HJRCA 38, constitutional amendments to implement a state spending cap.
The spending cap would tie growth in government spending to the growth in Illinois’ economy. For budget year 2019, spending growth would be capped at 2.4 percent, which means the general funds budget for the year would be $36.9 billion. As budget discussions heat up, a spending cap would ensure the state limits its budget to what taxpayers can afford.
Adam Schuster, director of budget and tax research at the Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following response:
“Illinois’ budget has been marked by turmoil. The state can’t afford another two-year budget impasse and taxpayers can’t afford another tax hike. Now more than ever, Illinois and its residents need budget certainty.
“Unfortunately, the state hasn’t taken any steps to rein in its spending. From 2005 to 2015, state spending grew 25 percent faster than taxpayers’ personal incomes.
“Uncertainty over future tax hikes led nearly 115,000 Illinoisans to pack up and leave the state last year alone, on net. Everyday Illinoisans understand they cannot spend more than they take in, and it’s time politicians play by the same rules.
“A spending cap would allow for a responsible and sustainable balanced budget without tax hikes and would provide clarity for lawmakers when it comes to how much revenue they have to spend. This is a guarantee Illinois taxpayers and businesses need.
“Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have come forward to support this commonsense solution. Now, more lawmakers should sign on to bring better budgets to Illinois. It’s time to give taxpayers a sign that their state is on a path toward fiscal health.
“Even if the spending cap constitutional amendment doesn’t make it onto the ballot this year, lawmakers should show fiscal restraint and adopt the principles laid out in this amendment.”
Video of the press conference is available here: https://youtu.be/D1DepzCyy6I
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