Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)–March 4, 2010. State Representative Anthony DeLuca(D-Chicago Heights) called attention today to the need for Illinois to start owning up to its fiscal and budgetary problems and start making the tough choices that will help our state put its fiscal house in order. To combat these escalating problems, DeLuca is throwing his support behind a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution which places caps on state spending each fiscal year and requires the creation of a special fund to help the state pay for vital services and other obligations during times of economic downturn.
“As I travel through the 80th district and hear from my constituents about their concerns about the most pressing problems facing our state and local community, our state’s budget and fiscal difficulties are at the top of the list of problems that local residents are most worried about,” DeLuca said. “As state representative, I look back on the most basic lessons I learned as Mayor of Chicago Heights, as a businessman, as well as from being a head of a household. Just as a city, business or a family must live within its means and pay its bills, our state must also learn to live within its means by limiting the growth of state spending.”
House Joint Resolution Constituional Amendment 37 places a limit on state general funds spending for each fiscal year equal to the amount of spending in the previous fiscal year, adjusted by the percentage of change in Illinoisans’ personal incomes over the preceding five years. Thereby the amendment sets a spending limit based on what the average Illinoisan has available to spend rather than the current approach that appropriates every penny in anticipation of revenues that may or may not come in as projected.
Another key provision of this measure requires that any revenue collected that surpasses the budget caps must be placed into one or more special “rainy day” funds which will hold surplus funds on reserve in case of an economic crisis. At such a time that the amount of these funds reach in excess of 10 percent of the state’s total budget, the additional funds will be refunded to the taxpayers.
“Now is the time for state lawmakers to act. Further delay is only going to continue to push off these very difficult budgetary and fiscal problems on to our children,” DeLuca added. “We must begin to make the tough decisions on spending priorities as well as cut government waste and abuse in all of its forms. Although simply cutting government waste will not fill the massive hold in our state budget, it is imperative that we limit the growth of aggregate spending and generate new revenue to effectively address these very trying problems.”
Source: State Representative DeLuca