From Ill. GOP House Leader Tom Cross...
Years of advocating for fiscally conservative and responsible budgeting by members of the House Republican caucus finally seems to be resonating with leading Democrats in the House. Wednesday, House Republican Leader Tom Cross testified alongside House Speaker Michael Madigan before the House Elementary and Secondary Appropriations and the General Services Appropriations Committees on legislation they are co-sponsoring that reinforces the concept that the state cannot spend more money than it takes in.
House Bill 3639, House Bill 3697, and House Bill 116 require the state to fully fund the public pension systems in FY12 and House Bill 117 which passed the Public Safety Committee, requires the state to allocate $2.137 billion to pay debt service on bonds.
The House also passed on Wednesday a bi-partisan, House Resolution 158, which specifies that any revenue the state receives exceeding $33.2 billion, the estimate adopted in House Resolution 110, should be used to pay down bills. This estimate is $2 billion less than the Governor proposed spending in his FY12 budget plan.
Last week the House passed House Resolution 156 establishing the percentage of general revenue funds each appropriations committee would have available to work with as they develop their budgets.
The allocation is as follows:
- Elementary and Secondary Education - 28.742%
- General Services - 5.158%
- Higher Education - 8.761%
- Human Services - 50.631%
- Public Safety - 6.978%
"This series of legislation is putting the legislature on the right path to passing a state budget that is balanced and does not exceed what we can afford - that helps ensure the tax increases passed in January will be temporary," said Cross. "It also provides schools, human service providers and others with some certainty knowing how much money will be available as they prepare their own budgets. That is something they haven't had for years with the Democrats' lump sum budgets. It's good to see our persistence is finally paying off and we are going to continue to hold the Democrats' feet to the fire to reduce spending and balance the budget."