Wheeler Says Attorney General Needs to Force Compliance with Balanced Budget Requirement

In an effort to move the state budget process forward, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has joined 39 House colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The letter calls on Attorney General Madigan to use the power of her office to compel the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate prior to the filing and passage of any spending bills to prevent further damage to the state’s finances and the many social service providers who serve the state’s most vulnerable.

In the letter, Wheeler and her co-signers cite several prior court rulings and instances which set precedent for the Attorney General to intervene to ensure the Illinois Constitution is upheld. Both the Constitution and state law require the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base a balanced budget for the forthcoming fiscal year, an action which has not occurred in either of the past two years and hasn’t yet occurred for the coming fiscal year.

“Every day this budget impasse continues, the social service providers who care for our most vulnerable are placed in a more and more dire situation,” said Wheeler. “Illinois’ families, taxpayers and job creators are not immune to the situation and time is running out to resolve the problem.”

Wheeler went on, “Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution is quite clear about the responsibility of the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate and appropriate a budget that does not exceed that estimate. The Attorney General has expressed opinion agreeing with this fact and there is clear legal precedent for her to step in. I hope she will act on our request and use her legal authority to force the budget process forward because so many are counting on swift action.”

As of today, only 12 days remain until the deadline of May 31 to pass a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

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