SCHIMPF WEEK IN REVIEW MAY 15 - 19
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Yet another unbalanced budget was advanced by the Illinois Senate majority, according to State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo).
Senate lawmakers worked through a series of eight bills that were part of the original “Grand Bargain,” on May 17. The bills included a short-term property tax freeze, short-term borrowing without assurances of those revenues being used to pay down the backlog of bills, and legislation to diminish pension benefits.
Despite weeks of positive negotiations, the Senate majority advanced two extremely controversial proposals which included another unbalanced budget and a bailout for the fiscally-irresponsible Chicago Public School system.
The budgetary package assumes that an unconstitutional pension plan, contained in Senate Bill 16 would be used for $1.2 billion in savings on towards the Fiscal Year 2018 budget. Other “pension reform” efforts have been tied up in the Illinois court system for years.
Senator negotiators are still working on a worker’s compensation measure that will hopefully make Illinois more business friendly. When compared to surrounding states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana – worker’s compensation rates are much higher and put the Land of Lincoln at a distinct disadvantage when trying to lure new employers.
Senator Schimpf was pleased with the passage of a procurement reform bill that will lower the cost of doing business for Southern Illinois University and other state agencies.
Additionally, a gaming expansion was approved by the Senate which will help increase economic opportunities on both ends of the 58th Senate District, at nearby casinos and resorts, like Walker’s Bluff.
Senator Schimpf has been an outspoken opponent of ensuring that funding for essential government operations be approved by the May 31 legislative deadline. At the same time, Senator Schimpf recognizes that an unbalanced budget that was proposed on May 17th will only make the state’s financial situation worse. A spending plan must contain reforms and a serious effort to cut non-essential government spending.