On June 30th the State of Illinois will have completed an entire year without a Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) operating budget. The legislative branch of government under subsection 2b of Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution calls upon the General Assembly to enact a fiscal year budget. Due to the legislature’s gridlock Illinois has relied on the judicial branch to keep government functioning with court orders and consent decrees.
Comptroller Leslie Geissler-Munger has been committed to making the payments her office has authority to issue. The Comptroller will have expended more than $23 billion by the end of FY16 without a budget. As the impasse continues the ramifications and uncertainties grow.
Illinois Department of Transportation’s legal counsel advised that without Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) appropriations and spending authority they will begin preparing to halt projects. Illinois residents do not yet know how much Affordable Care Act (ACA) premiums will increase. ACA purchasers have been notified of a premium increase of potentially more than 10%. Many Illinois K-12 schools don’t know if or when they will open there doors. Human service providers continue to face growing financial difficulties as they wait for reimbursements. All of this and more occurs; however, Speaker Madigan continues to cancel session week after week.
The House is scheduled to be in session next Wednesday, June 29th at Noon. It is critically important that Speaker Madigan allow balanced budget proposals like HB6583 and HB6585 to the House floor for discussion. We need to pay our bills and fund our government. A budget that isn’t balanced and affordable does nothing but cause more disorder and confusion.
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski