Members respond to passage of state budget

Hours before the deadline, the Illinois House of Representatives concurred with the Senate and overwhelmingly passed the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget. The bipartisan-crafted budget expends $38.5 billion, less than the $40 billion proposed by the Democrats and is on its way to the Governor for his signature.

The House Republicans came to the negotiating table with the goal of leaving with a balanced full-year budget that contained no tax increases and were successful in achieving that goal.

Here is what members are saying about the budget:

Rep. Patti Bellock, Hinsdale
“After three years of turmoil, Democrats and Republicans worked cooperatively to pass a full-year balanced state budget. In the end, we achieved our three main priorities; a balanced budget, full year funding, and no tax increase. This budget also meets our commitment to mental health and combating opioid, alcohol and substance abuse addiction.”

Rep. Terri Bryant, Murphysboro
“HB 109 cuts more than $1 billion in spending,” Bryant said. “These cuts, and this fiscally sound, balanced budget could not have been achieved without the participation of Republicans.

Rep. Mark Batinick, Plainfield
“If we are going to solve our long-term fiscal problems in Illinois we have to make changes to our pension system. This bill begins to do just that.”

Rep. Chad Hays, Catlin
“It was a pleasure to vote in favor of a budget package that was balanced, included no new taxes, and which was crafted through true and honest bipartisanship. Since this was the final budget vote I will ever take in the Illinois General Assembly, I am incredibly proud it was on legislation created through cooperation and respectful compromise.”

Rep. David Olsen, Downers Grove
“This budget shows, for the first time in many years, some spending restraint. It includes $1.2 billion less in spending than would have occurred in a status quo budget, while fully funding the new K-12 education funding formula. It also offers important new pension reform measures, like voluntary pension benefit buyouts and capping end-of-career salary bumps that lead to pension spiking.”

Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, Leland Grove
"This is not a perfect budget plan, but it is a good responsible compromise that will fund our priorities and will provide much needed stability for our local communities and our families."

Rep. David A. Welter, Morris
"This budget represents a compromise where neither side gets everything they wanted, yet where Democrats and Republicans came together to find common ground to avert another unnecessary budget crisis. I voted Yes on this budget because it is balanced, contains no new taxes and provides additional funding for K-12 education. These are the three main priorities I had with respect to the final budget. We still need to address structural reforms to improve Illinois’ long-term fiscal trajectory and set us back on a path toward private sector job growth in every region and across every major industry in our state, but this budget is a step in the right direction.”