Rep. Halbrook sees nothing in new $40 billion spending budget 'to slow down the mass exodus'
Republican state Rep. Brad Halbrook (Shelbyville) wonders how much more Illinois taxpayers – most of them frustrated and overburdened, especially if they don't already have plans to leave the state – are willing to take.
“Voters were already feeling outrage over the doubling of the gas tax that just passed and now they have this to contend with,” Halbrook told the Chambana Sun. “Many of them are feeling like enough is enough already.”
Halbrook points to the $40 billion spending plan passed this week that adds to taxes and increases state borrowing as the latest source of angst for so many. The Chicago Tribune reports that the plan adds millions more in spending for education and $50 million in increased spending for the Department of Children and Family Services while borrowing at least an additional $1.2 billion to pay down a deficit at least six-times that much.
“I’m happy we have a budget," Halbrook said. "However, there is record spending laced with even more borrowing. There’s no denying this figures to be more of a drain on taxpayers, especially when you consider we didn’t do anything to reform pensions or Medicaid spending.”
Halbrook said he fears the plan sets the state up to face more of the same troubles that have crippled its fiscal recovery.
“Nothing about any of this figures to slow down the mass exodus out of Illinois,” he added. “If anything, it just figures to make it easier for them to leave.”
The measure first passed the House on a bipartisan 81-35 vote, then hours later sailed through the Senate by a final tally of 40-19. The spending plan is slated to take effect with the start of the new budget year on July 1.