Leader Tony McCombie & House GOP Budget Team Call for Bipartisan Budget Process

At a press conference in Springfield yesterday, Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) was joined by members of her newly appointed budget team to call on Democrats to engage in a truly bipartisan budget process and bring reform to the most important legislation passed at the Capitol each year.

“Many people say Republicans want to vote no. That preconceived notion is false,” said Leader McCombie. “House Republicans are here to govern. We are here to give solutions. We want to help and are willing to share our ideas that address the budget shortcomings and provide tax reform policies that Illinois taxpayers and job creators need to stay in Illinois and need to grow in Illinois.

“The budget process should not be so difficult and it should be bipartisan,” McCombie continued. “The budget bills do not need to come forward in the final hours of the session with little or no Republican input. And, certainly, the budget should not be used as a political football year after year.”

McCombie has appointed Deputy House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) as the House Republican caucus Chief Budgeteer. Hammond is a longtime member of the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee and well known for her record of working across the aisle to advance major legislation in the legislature.

“I am honored to have been named a few days ago as Chief Budgeteer for the caucus by our Leader, Tony McCombie,” said Hammond. “I will work tirelessly to ensure that the budget benefits all citizens of Illinois and ensures their needs and concerns will be considered in the budgeting process.”

Hammond laid out some of the caucus’ primary budget reform ideas, which include:
  • Adopting a revenue estimate and budget based off that revenue estimate.
  • Holding REAL, meaningful budget hearings which respect minority voices and provides for public input and transparency.
  • Requiring Balanced Budgets.
  • Restoring quarterly bipartisan briefings by the Governor’s administration to the bipartisan Legislative Budget Oversight Commission. These briefings were eliminated last spring after Republicans asked tough questions about how the administration was spending COVID relief funds.
  • Respecting the voters’ decision to overwhelmingly reject the Graduated Income Tax Hike.
  • Give taxpayers REAL Tax Reform - eliminate the franchise tax on employers, property tax relief for families and businesses, and reducing the harmful impacts of the estate tax on family farms.
  • Finally, returning excess income tax collections to taxpayers instead of sweeping it to be used to fund things like politician pay raises.

In addition to Hammond, Leader McCombie named State Representative Amy Elik (R-Alton) as Deputy Budgeteer. Elik has spent the past twenty-eight years working as a Certified Public Accountant and auditor for businesses and government bodies, and previously served on the House Republican budget team, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, and other relevant financial committees.

“As a Certified Public Accountant, I know firsthand the importance of good budgeting practices and accountability,” said Elik. “With inflation seriously impacting every families' household budget, our constituents rely on their elected representatives to enact a state budget that is responsible, balanced and transparent, without gimmicks and shell games, so that state taxes and fees do not cause even greater financial hardships than they are already facing.”

Joining Leader McCombie and the budget team were also State Representatives Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) and Travis Weaver (R-Edwards). McLaughlin and Weaver bring a wealth of experience in the financial sector. Both cited the need for the state budget to adhere to essential budgeting principles that take into account long-term realities to improve the state’s fiscal position without reliance on federal bailouts or tax increases.

For more information and to watch the complete press conference, click here.