State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) issued a statement about Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget address presented to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers March 6, in the chambers of the House of Representatives.
“We heard some positive ideas. He said he was going to consolidate or eliminate 75 boards and commissions. That needs to be done. I am Republican Spokesman on the Senate Executive Appointments Committee, which considers appointments to these boards, and frankly there are some of them that rarely meet,” Bivins said. “So I think the Governor is right to do that, as a way to save some money.”
Bivins said such cost-cutting ideas are a step in the right direction, but notes that the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014 fiscal plan actually increases spending by than $1 billion over the current budget.
“He is adding almost 1,000 employees, he is giving pay increases. He is doing a lot of things you should not do in a fiscal crisis. He said there are no gimmicks or fake numbers, but it sure doesn’t meet the criteria of a fundamentally sound budget,” Bivins said. “Budgeting fundamentals are essential. Don’t spend more than you take in. Don’t keep increasing programs, but that’s what he is doing.
“He kept talking about paying down the bills. I think he said it four or five times. If I am not mistaken, the Governor and the Democrat legislative leaders passed a 67 percent income tax increase in 2011 to ‘pay the bills,’ but here they are, spending more, and piling up more and more debt,” Bivins said.
The 45th District Senator said he is willing to work with Gov. Quinn and Democrat legislative leaders to address Illinois’ budget crisis.
“He has a tough job, we get that. But he has got to find some common ground to be able to work with the General Assembly, and not just wag his finger and chastise everybody,” Bivins said.