PLAINFIELD – State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) today announced his outline for a “1-2-3 State Budget Solution” that would match current revenue estimates, balance spending reforms with structural reforms and prioritize the payment of the existing backlog of state bills, which currently exceeds $10.7 Billion, according to the Office of Comptroller Susana Mendoza.
“First, let’s complete a budget through 2018 that is based on the revenue we have. Second, let’s make a plan to pay our unpaid bills. Third, let’s have a thorough discussion about reforms and any new revenue,” Rep. Batinick said. Passage of a bipartisan budget solution is especially critical in the wake of the court motion filed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan last week seeking to halt state employee pay.
The first step in Rep. Batinick’s outline to achieve a responsible resolution to the ongoing state budget impasse centers on keeping the budget in line with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) revenue estimate of approximately $33 Billion, differing from the $38-$40 Billion budget proposal being considered by the State Senate, which contains minimal or no spending reforms. Crafting a state budget at $33 Billion would meet the state’s commitments at a level consistent with the amount of revenue the state takes in. Pension reform would also have to be part of Step 1. (see attached “1-2-3 Plan outline).
The second step in Rep. Batinick’s outline makes note of the two options to pay the backlog of past-due state bills; in recognition that this backlog has led to erosion of Illinois’ human services network, raised the cost of doing business with the state and created widespread instability in every aspect of the Illinois budget. Those two options include selling a major state asset and/or imposing a one-time income tax surcharge designated only to pay off the past-due bill backlog.
Thirdly, Rep. Batinick acknowledges the need to discuss changes in our tax structure and specifies the reforms necessary to put Illinois on a path to prosperity; including school funding reform, property tax relief, workers compensation reform, unfunded mandate reform, government consolidation, and pension reform.
“The damaging instability wrought by the ongoing impasse coupled with the Attorney General’s action last week with regard to halting state employee pay require us to act quickly on passing a budget,” Rep. Batinick said. “The 1-2-3 Budget Plan is a set of parameters I believe can help advance serious bipartisan negotiations of how we can best come together, as quickly as possible, to pass a responsible budget for the families and taxpayers of Illinois.”
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