Budget nuances exposed

One of the hallmarks of a Democrat-built budget in the Illinois General Assembly is its passage in the dead of the night. The late night call for a vote seems fitting since the budget was crafted behind closed doors, another hallmark. Let’s face it, debating the budget in the light of day and inviting people with divergent views and experiences to provide input, would expose nuances in the budget they want to keep under wraps.

The “nuances” in the $50 billion state budget that passed very early this morning with only Democrat votes, will lead to Illinoisans paying more for gas, groceries and medicine, not to mention property taxes. At the same time lawmakers will get a second boost in pay this calendar year. 

The fiscal year 2024 budget includes these nuanced provisions you should know about:
  • Provides lawmakers with a 5% pay hike on top of the 16% raise they gave themselves in January.
  • Funds a new capital program for legislative districts, but only those represented by Democrats.
  • Allocates $550 million in healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants, which is half of the projected $1.1 billion cost. Then gives the Governor more authority to handle any additional funding needs.
  • Shortchanges workers who care for the developmentally disabled.
  • Raids funds meant for local governments that in turn will look to increased property taxes to make up the difference.
  • Does not include funding for state employees in the AFSCME contract for 2024. However, lawmakers relinquished their appropriation authority to the Governor allowing him to transfer money from other budget line items to pay for the increase at his discretion.
  • Includes revenue from the reinstatement of the taxes on gas, food, medicine and school supplies.
Illinois families will feel the impact of this budget. They will be paying more at the gas pump, more at the grocery store, more at the pharmacy and more on their property tax bill. What’s more, the Governor has been given carte blanche to siphon money from one budget line item to another with no warning or oversight, leaving taxpayers in the dark and footing the bill. 

But then again, that’s the Democratic hallmark.