Batinick: Pension Reform Essential to Balancing Budget

SPRINGFIELD—State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) released the following statement regarding Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address on February 19th:

“I have said it before, but it still rings true:  until the Democrats curb their insatiable appetite for spending, Illinois will not be financially stable.  We cannot keep taxing our way into new revenues, we need to structurally change spending.  The most disturbing part of the Governor’s address was that he based his budget proposal on new spending.  We cannot plan on hypotheticals.  That is the root of the problem, and until we actually change this, we will not move forward.   

What’s worse, is that the Governor is underselling our current revenues.  Growth is extremely important for our businesses and the economy at large—we have record revenue growth right now and that should be recognized and used to pay down our debts.  The high costs of living in Illinois are driving families and businesses out of our state.  The State of Illinois is continuing to lose young people and high-income earners.  I wanted to hear something in the Governor’s address that spoke to those factors, which really matter when we are talking about producing a balanced budget.  Instead, the Governor is raising taxes and barely touching pensions.

Last year, the Governor proposed skipping pension payments in his budget address.  This year’s address wasn’t much different.  It was not a serious proposal to tackle the state’s biggest issue.  Our pension debt is serious and it will continue to build until we address it.”