Budget Failure: Learning From Our Mistakes

Here is state Senator Kyle McCarter writing about something too few Illinoisans know about — and if they don’t know about it, little “learning” will take place:

Budget talks between Legislative leaders and the Governor are not going well. While some sessions were held during the week, a Dec. 8 get-together was canceled. It appears the people of Illinois are not likely to see a solution before the state’s half-year, so-called “stop gap” budget expires on Dec. 30.

Budget Failure

State government is falling short of its responsibilities by not passing a balanced state budget. We had all year to make it a priority. Instead, the effort seemed to be focused on politics and partisanship. Without a complete and balanced budget, a lot of people could be hurt. Human service contractors will feel the pinch after the first of the year.

While I hoped the stop gap budget would be a bridge to an agreement on a complete and constitutional budget that pays for core state services and support for vulnerable populations, it’s turning out to be a “bridge to nowhere.” Unfortunately, the stop gap put us deeper into an already deep financial hole. The Legislature should have come back to Springfield during the summer months to reach agreement. Again, we didn’t. We also had the opportunity during five days of the fall Veto Session to work things out. Now, the busy end-of-the-year holiday season is here and we’re likely to conclude 2016 without meeting our most important responsibility.

. . .

It’s frustrating to see Illinois continue to suffer when we have so much potential. The Legislature needs to get back to what will make a difference for the people of this state: spend less; live within our means – like families and businesses must do; say no to new projects; balance the budget; and pass real reforms to grow the economy providing the hope and opportunity Illinoisans deserve.

Read more: SenatorMcCarter.com

Image credit: Senator McCarter / will.illinois.edu.