Today is a sad day in Illinois.  It’s a day in which I take no joy.  Today my thoughts are with the people of my district and across this state.  Compounding that sadness is the hate and misinformation being spread on these tremendously important issues.

Many have asked, “why did you support this bill?”   During the last two years, I have been to every corner of my district.  I’ve heard from you on the need for a balanced budget and seen the effects of the lack of any budget at all.  These effects have grown worse with each passing month.  It has now gotten to the point where these effects will rear their ugly head for all of us, if they haven’t already.  Without a budget many schools will not open, health care and nursing home facilities will close, small businesses will shutter, property taxes will become even higher and thousands will lose their jobs.  These are not realities somewhere years down the road, these are the realities of the coming weeks and months.

So I fought for the best budget bill attainable.  It’s a bill that’s a long way from perfect, but it’s a bipartisan bill that immediately cuts $3 billion in spending and projects a $7.5 billion reduction of Illinois’ backlog of bills, big steps in the right direction.  Most importantly, it keeps the doors of our small businesses and schools open, the elderly will remain in the care of skilled professionals and Illinoisans will continue to go to work and support their families.  I supported this bill because the alternatives are as bad as we can imagine.  I firmly believe that the further financial hardship caused by moving forward without a budget would ensure income tax hikes twice that of this weeks increase.  The responsible thing to do was to take this step in the right direction.

Over two decades of one party control have put this state in this dire position.  Now is the time for the tough choices that will guide us to better days ahead.  I am proud to be your representative and I will to continue to fight for the reform that this state so desperately needs and the prosperity that its citizens deserve.

Mike


If there is one thing that all conservatives agree on, its that the government spends too much money.  In Illinois, years of unbalanced budgets have made Illinois the least fiscally responsible state in the nation, the harm of which has been deeply accelerated by the absence of a budget for over two years.  Did you know that without a budget, Illinois has been spending more money than ever before? Did you know that the only way to actually cut spending is by establishing a budget?  This is because without a spending plan, the legislature forfeited its control over how your tax dollars are spent and gave it to the courts. It is the equivalent of someone automatically withdrawing money from your personal bank account every single day, without your permission, to pay for things you either do not want or cannot afford, with nothing you can do to make it stop.
 
Until the House passed a balanced budget last week, we were spending $39B annually.  The current budget will immediately cut that spending by $3B, initiating the slow, difficult and essential process of digging our way out of this hole that has been decades in the making.  Without a budget, in just two short years Illinois would have reached a point where its annual revenues were nearly equal to its past due bills.  As a result, almost every single penny of your hard earned tax dollars would have had to be spent on debt and interest.
 
I will be the first to admit that this budget is not perfect.  It is not, in my opinion, the budget that Illinoisians deserve. But it is, at this exact time, a budget that Illinoisians need to put an immediate halt to our state's downward spiral into financial dissolution.  The longer we wait, the more we pay--each and every single one of us.  Days before this budget was passed, we were dangerously close to receiving a junk bond credit rating--a status in which no amount of taxes, cuts, and reforms would be able to save us.
 
Now that Illinois has finally put an end to the runaway spending of the budget impasse, its time to get smart about the way we do business in Illinois.  I am 100% dedicated to fighting for the reforms that this state so desperately needs, but I am not willing to watch our legislature and the courts throw away your hard earned money while we work to establish them.  Last week, we took a step in the right direction.  Let's keep moving.