While Republicans have proposed several alternatives that are properly funded, and have been prepared to compromise for some time, these efforts have been ignored. Instead, the bills presented today were passed after a contentious and thorough debate.
Representative Andersson found these appropriations bills to be just another example of the unwillingness of Democrat leaders and legislators to compromise. Needs are not being met and there are critical state services that are not yet funded. Andersson recognizes the seriousness of the situation, and is ready to work to find a serious yet realistic solution.
“In order to compromise, to reach a reasonable solution, we need discussions. This proposal was pieced together without dialogue, compromise, or negotiation. Once again it’s an irresponsible effort that not only excluded House Republicans, but is unfunded. These bills allow expenditures to exceed revenues, and it’s unrealistic to think that this proposal would be fair, adequate, and substantial for our state and the people of Illinois. We cannot spend money that we don’t have, we as legislators are better than that, and Illinois families, taxpayers and students deserve better.”
Rep. Andersson went on to express his disappointment in the budgeting process with the excessive over-appropriation that has become common practice.
“It is our job to balance the budget. We cannot pass on this crisis to the Governor and the Comptroller, but together we must make the hard choices. I am an optimist and believe we can solve this this problem, but only if we talk and have discussions to promote the long term predictability and sustainability of our state.”
Andersson called for the House Appropriations Committees to start up again, which would allow legislators to meet and discuss future appropriations bills—an effort Andersson believes would help create a balanced budget.
With the House not scheduled to be back in session until April 4th, Andersson supported a motion by House Republicans to bring the legislature back the following day—to continue to work toward a solution instead of taking a month long break. Yet, Democrats who determine the session schedule denied the motion.