Restoring fiscal leadership, building for the future

Restoring fiscal leadership, building for the future

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Imagine an Illinois with real fiscal leadership.

Each year it seems like Illinois’ fiscal condition gets a little bit worse. Credit ratings fall, pension debts rise, debt gets piled upon more debt in an endless cycle. Legislators wink and nod at that line in the state Constitution which says “appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.”

And your taxes keep getting raised to pay for it all. 

We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of that quickly either. But doesn’t it make sense to at least stop making it worse every year?

For decades, Illinois politicians have forgotten that the money they spend is being taken from hard-working Illinois families. More spending and more borrowing just leads to more debt, which our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay. Budgets grow, but services don’t seem to improve – just ask anyone who has applied for unemployment assistance or tried to renew their FOID card recently.

Too much of our budget goes to inefficiencies in state agencies and to the debt created by the unrealistic promises of the past. Every dollar we spend there is a dollar that does not go to schools, roads, safety or health care.

To reimagine an Illinois with responsible fiscal leadership we have to begin by keeping Illinois residents top of mind when we are talking about spending their money. We have to balance the budget – and do it through an open and transparent process. We must address pension reform and tackle government inefficiencies.

“Wouldn’t it be great if our constituents actually had the proper amount of time to review their state budget and how their taxpayer dollars are being spent before lawmakers vote on it?” asked Rep. Avery Bourne, one of the sponsors of legislation to enact a mandatory 72-hour review period before voting on spending bills. “It’s time that we right Illinois’ fiscal ship and make the necessary changes to make our home the best place to live and raise a family.”

In addition to budget transparency, the House Republican plan calls for a real commitment to balancing the budget every year, action to save the state’s underfunded pension systems and taking on government inefficiencies.

Read the full plan at ReimagineIllinois.com.

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