Budget 'win' for Democratic leaders comes at a huge cost to rest of Illinois, Rep. Caulkins says
As profoundly as the math misses the mark in the new state spending plan, Republican state Rep. Dan Caulkins (Decatur) sees the logic behind it even more flawed.
“With this budget, we have a declining population and an increasing budget,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “It’s just a disaster, especially when you consider we could have as much as $3 billion more in taxes added to the mix starting in 2021 with the progressive tax Democrats also want. You add all that up and we could soon have as much as $7 billion more in additional taxes on the backs of the working people of this state.”
Led by Democratic majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lawmakers in Springfield moved to enact a $40 billion spending plan during the final week of the session that includes a $25 million hike to the $350 million already spent in annual public school costs and allocates a 5-percent spending increase for public colleges and universities across the state. The plan that passed by an 83-35 vote in the House and by a better than 2-1 margin in the Senate also includes an additional $50 million in spending for the Department of Children and Family Services and borrows $1.2 billion dollars more to help pay down the billions the state is already in arrears on to vendors.
“I don’t know who dreams this stuff up,” Caulkins said. “The only winners in this are probably the politicians who will go home and brag about passing all this legislation. The losers are all the other people of Illinois, average working people that are going to be stuck with this massive bill.”
Caulkins said he believes that Democrats have become drunk on their power to the point of being their own worst enemy.
“Over the last several months, they’ve done everything they can think of to punish business owners,” he said. “Everything from the minimum-wage increase to the things you see in this bill, but nothing about the elephant in the room which is our pension system.”
The new plan is slated to take effect with the start of the new budget year on July 1.