Davidsmeyer: Transparency Needed in Budgeting Process

Springfield, IL…On Memorial Day, in the middle of the night, Illinois House Democrats voted for a new State budget that included nearly $650 million in tax increases, legislator pay raises and a billion dollars in pork projects for Democrats’ legislative districts.  The budget bill was thousands of pages long, and was filed and passed in less than one hour.

“Not surprisingly, when the Democrats were focused on their pork projects and making sure they got raises, they didn’t make the budget effective until June of 2022, instead of July of 2021,” said Assistant Republican Leader C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville).

Legislators returned to Springfield Wednesday to debate Governor Pritzker’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 2800.

“Democrats couldn’t even get enough of their members to show up in person to pass their budget fix, so they changed the House Rules to allow for remote voting in order to clean up their self-inflicted mess,” Davidsmeyer said.

“The duty of an elected official is to represent their constituents in Springfield.  Not being here for the vote is a dereliction of duty.  But changing the rules for those who don’t show up is even worse.”

Democrats needed every single vote they could get for their budget fix, because after May 31, legislation with an immediate effective date requires 71 votes to pass.  Drafting errors are common in legislation, but nearly 50% of state’s budget was drafted in error.  Davidsmeyer stated errors could have been caught earlier if legislators and the public had more time to review the budget.

“Democrats refused open discussion or even a specific time period to ensure a legitimate viewing period of our annual budget. Instead, they introduced and voted on the State’s budget in the middle of the night on the final day of regular session.  The process was rushed because Democrat leaders wanted to pass pork projects and tax increases before anyone could read the 3,000 page bill.  I voted against the tax increases last time and did so again today. “I have introduce House Bill 2441, the Taxpayers’ Fiscal Charter, which will require every budget to be posted online for 72 hours prior to any budget vote.  My bill will require transparency in the Illinois budgeting process, allowing not only legislators, but also every concerned citizen time to review it and share their concerns.  Illinois Democrats continue to use the word ‘transparency’, while doing the exact opposite.”