Governor Quinn proposes his 4th budget.
We hoped the Governor would offer a challenging, austere plan. We were hoping for a “Reality Check” from the Governor.
Instead, we got a proposed budget that increases spending over FY12 and continues to expand programs with little explanation as to how we will pay for them.
The Governor proposed spending about $550 million more than the adopted FY12 budget and $50 million more than the latest spending projections for the current budget.
The Governor claimed that his budget rolls back spending to FY08 levels, but that is simply not true. The Governor is only counting appropriations. In reality, the Governor is asking to spend about $3.4 billion more than in 2008.
We wanted to hear the Governor’s plan to bring spending under control and assure that the 67% income tax increase would remain temporary. But the Governor made clear he has no intention of allowing the 67% tax increase to expire.
Reducing the state’s backlog of bills was cited as a primary reason for last year’s massive income tax hike, but the budget the Governor proposed today leaves just $160 million to pay off old bills and, instead, spends 99.5% of every anticipated dollar the state would receive in the coming year.
Furthermore, despite tough talk on Medicaid spending in the run up to today’s address, the Governor’s proposed budget anticipates adding 160,000 persons to the program. That’s like adding the entire population of Joliet to Medicaid. As a result, total Medicaid enrollment will reach a record three million persons in the coming year.
This mismanagement of Medicaid is no different than what we have seen over the last several years. Illinois has been adding citizens to Medicaid at about this same rate every year. Already one out of every two infants is born into Medicaid. This trend must be reversed.
The Governor’s own human services agency has admitted the state will face a $21 billion Medicaid backlog in five years. The Governor’s proposed budget holds Medicaid appropriations flat to last year. However, this proposed appropriation is $2.7 billion short of expected Medicaid costs, and the Governor has offered no specifics as to how to cut $2.7 billion from Medicaid.
On pensions, the Governor keyed in on skyrocketing public pension payments, but offered little in the way of reforms and continued to promote the idea of pushing more costs onto local property taxpayers.
There are a number of glaring exceptions to the Governor’s so called spending austerity.
The Governor asked to add $32 million to state education spending with the largest portion of that – $20 million – going to early childhood education, rather than traditional classrooms.
Other specialized programs would also see large increases, such as a 200% hike from $12 million to $36 million in the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. The Monetary Award Program was increased $50 million, too.
Other Issues in Governor Quinn’s Budget Proposal:
Proposed closure of state facilities
- Supermax Tamms, IYC Murphysboro, IYC Joliet, Dwight
- Adult Transition Centers in Peoria, Crossroads Chicago, Westside Chicago, Decatur, Aurora & Carbondale
- Jacksonville, Tinley Park, Singer (Rockford) & Murray (Centralia)
- DHS local offices – 24 of them, not identified to us
- The Senate partisan breakout is relatively balanced
Correctional facilities 5-5
DD / MI Facilities 4-1 Republican
DCFS Facilities 3-0 Democrat
Annual road program slashed
- At $1.5 billion, FY13 annual road program is lowest since FY99 – before Illinois FIRST
- FY13 program would be 50% lower than last year – program is cut in half
- Road Program details don’t come out until April
- This will be a huge issue in the coming months
$3 billion in new capital bonds
- $1 billion for clean water projects – sewer and water infrastructure
- $575 million for “21st Century” universities and community colleges, $566 million for “21st Century” school technology upgrades and $50 million for early childhood construction grants;
- $1 billion on state facilities;
- $50 million health care technology (part of the “Next Generation!” list of projects),
- $550 million in state facilities – new & repairs;
- And lots of other retreads from past failed proposals.
No new revenues were proposed to cover these new bond payments. Debt service would be about $200 million once all bonds are sold, over several years.
Dave Barnes, Sr. for State Senator 57th District