Topinka: More spending cuts needed to restore fiscal integrity

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Comptroller calls for unified effort to identify potential savings         


Springfield, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka released the following statement in response to Governor Pat Quinn’s proposed budget, which includes $8.75 billion in new borrowing:

“Governor Quinn inherited a financial disaster from his impeached predecessor and I applaud him for working to restore our state’s fiscal integrity. But ultimately his budget proposal promises a new high in state spending and $8.75 billion in new borrowing. We need to end the disastrous pattern of ‘tax, borrow and spend’ that has put us into this mess. My solution is simple: cut spending, pay off our bills and get our house in order. Once that is done, responsible borrowing with a practical payback timeframe can be considered.

“Illinois families and employers recently endured a massive tax increase to allow the state to make ends meet. They are paying more to their state government than at any time in Illinois history, and they should expect no less than a balanced budget. Today’s proposal by the Governor still falls short of that goal, and in fact relies on borrowed money to cover-up an operating budget that is $1.7 billion higher than last year.

“The Governor’s office has indicated a willingness to work with lawmakers and Constitutional officers from both parties to find common ground, and I thank him for that offer. That dialogue provides an opportunity to move away from further discussion of taxing and borrowing, and focus on spending. We must work together to use this fiscal crisis to reassess every dollar spent, and find ways to become more efficient and do more with less. To that end, I encourage all state leaders to craft their own list of savings, or ways to stretch our tax dollars. From long-overdue changes in Medicaid to consolidation of the state’s fiscal offices, there are things we can do – and time is of the essence.”

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