How Speaker Madigan elbows aside Illinois taxpayers

For the past four years as a state legislator, I have watched Democrats introduce bill after bill on the House floor that spends taxpayer money.

In 2015, my first year as an Illinois representative, I repeatedly stood up and asked Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie why we don’t first determine how much taxpayer money we have to spend before we start spending it.
My questions were brushed aside with flippant answers along the lines of “We’ll do that when we actually do a budget.”

Well, I’m still waiting.

That brushoff didn’t sit well with me or my fellow Republican legislators at that time. It still doesn’t and it shouldn’t. Taxpayers should hate it. Budgeting based on how much money we wish we had is how politicians got Illinois into this mess in the first place.

This isn’t some inconsequential issue. Illinois has a balanced budget requirement. The only lever that taxpayers and the minority party have to pull is the revenue estimate that locks in a cap on spending. Doesn’t that make it obvious why House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democrat caucus have avoided it? No cap, no accountability. Read the rest of Rep. Keith Wheeler's commentary in the Chicago Tribune.