Wheeler, Colleagues call for revenue estimate

For more than 24 months, from the end of June 2015 until mid-July 2017, the state of Illinois spent taxpayers’ money without an approved budget. The partial withdrawal of Illinois’ legislative branch from the job of overseeing and controlling Illinois spending effectively kicked this oversight power over to the federal and state judiciary, and created wide gaps between Illinois spending areas. Although the General Assembly maintained partial oversight of state spending through continuous public hearings and discussions of spending programs and issues, this partial oversight fell short of the mandate contained in subsection 2(b) of Article VIII of the state Constitution. This subsection requires the General Assembly to make annual formal appropriations for all expenditures based upon funds estimated to be available in the approaching fiscal year. 

Despite the explicit language of the state Constitution, as the spring 2018 session of the Illinois General Assembly moves towards its mandated May 31 adjournment once again no action has been taken to adopt a binding revenue estimate or to pass appropriations and a budget for FY19. FY19 will begin on July 1, 2018. The more than two dozen members of the House Republican Caucus who are currently freshmen or serving their second term in office have never seen the Illinois House adopt a binding revenue estimate as required by constitutional law. House Republicans continue to demand that the House and Senate come together, discuss the State’s spending challenges in FY19, and adopt a binding revenue estimate in line with the demands of the Constitution.

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