2024 Legislative Update

Illinois Politicians Critique State Budget Process in Legislative Update

Bloomington, IL - June 1, 2024 – Four state lawmakers recently gathered in Bloomington on Saturday (May 31) to deliver a legislative update on Illinois’ budget process, with a focus on transparency and fiscal responsibility. Representatives Dan Caulkins and Dennis Tipsword, alongside Senators Sally Turner and Tom Bennett, provided a comprehensive critique of the recently passed budget. (Click on the title above to continue reading if necessary.)

The legislators highlighted significant concerns about the budget process, characterizing it as a giant boondoggle passed in the middle of the night. The budget, totaling $53 billion, includes $802 million in pork-barrel spending and introduces $1.1 billion in new taxes. Despite claims to the contrary, this is not a balanced budget. The lawmakers expressed dismay at the lack of accountability and the rushed nature of the vote.

Rep. Dan Caulkins emphasized, "There is $53 billion in spending, much of it without accountability." Caulkins also noted the impracticality of the process, stating that there was insufficient time to thoroughly review the 3,389-page budget before it was put to a vote.

Rep. Dennis Tipsword added, "This is the highest budget in state history," pointing to the unprecedented scale of the spending plan and the long-term implications for taxpayers.

Sen. Tom Bennett highlighted specific deficiencies in the budget, noting the absence of appropriations for veterans and the lack of consideration for school choice. "Our veterans and kids deserve better than being overlooked in this budget," noted Bennett.

Sen. Sally Turner underscored the importance of political engagement, urging voters to take action in upcoming elections. "If we are going to stop out-of-control spending and taxes, we need to win in the upcoming elections," Turner stated, stressing the need for a shift in the legislative balance to ensure more responsible fiscal policies.

The legislators noted the many shenanigans played by the Democrats to get the budget passed and collectively called for greater transparency and accountability in the budget process, advocating for more time and scrutiny before passing significant fiscal legislation. They emphasized the need for a budget that addresses the state's needs without imposing undue burdens on taxpayers.

The noontime legislative update was sponsored by McLean County Republicans.

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