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Tuesday, June 02, 2015 4:36 PM

Illinois Politicians' Brazen #1 Priority: Paying Themselves

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It's no secret that politicians in general are a self-serving lot, primarily concerned about doing whatever it takes to get reelected. Taxpayers be damned in the process.

As usual, Illinois politicians lead the way in brazen graft on such matters as excerpts from Illinoisans Suffer, Politicians Get Paid by Jeffrey Schwab, attorney for the Illinois Policy Institute shows.

Illinois state lawmakers failed to pass a balanced budget for fiscal year 2016 by May 31, and will now be called in for a continuous session in an attempt to pass a budget before the fiscal year starts on July 1. That means the budget will now require a three-fifths majority vote in each chamber of the Illinois General Assembly to pass.

If the General Assembly fails to pass a budget for fiscal year 2016, funds would not be appropriated – and could not be spent – for a wide variety of items for which it makes appropriations on an annual basis, starting July 1, including money going to education, the Department of Corrections, state police, court systems, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Department of Human Rights.

But not all state spending would stop – funding for some programs and operations is allocated through what’s called a “continuing appropriation,” which continues each year automatically. Last year, House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton worked together to introduce and pass a law ensuring legislator salaries and operating expenses were funded on a continuing basis. [See Illinois General Assembly exempts itself from spending cuts, appropriations process]

Now, the only way for money to be appropriated for the fiscal year starting July 1 is by a law passed by three-fifths of the General Assembly.

The people of Illinois deserve a balanced state budget that addresses the fiscal problems facing this state without further crippling the economy with burdensome tax increases. They also deserve to know what will happen if the General Assembly fails to do so in time.

Jeffrey Schwab
Staff Attorney, Liberty Justice Center
Illinois #1 in Greed, Graft, Taxing Bodies

When it comes to greed, graft, taxing bodies, and former governors put in jail, no state can touch Illinois.

For more details please see Congratulations to Illinois: Most Government Bodies, Most Convicted Governors, Lowest Credit Rating.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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