According to State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove), nothing is more important in Springfield right now than the adoption of a full and balanced budget. To that end, this week the freshman lawmaker signed on as a co-sponsor of three pieces of legislation that provide revenue estimates that can be used as the starting point for the creation of a full budget.
“The implementation of a budget is a multi-step process, and step one involves lawmakers coming to agreement on a revenue estimate,” said Olsen. “The Illinois Constitution is clear; the responsibility for crafting and adopting a budget rests solely with the General Assembly. That process begins with the approval of a revenue estimate that tells us how much money we have to spend.”
Olsen is co-sponsoring HJR 49, HJR 50 and HJR 51. HJR 49 uses the non-partisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) FY2018 revenue estimate of $31.147 billion, HJR 50 uses the FY2018 estimate published by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) of $31.476 billion, and HJR 51 utilizes an average of the COGFA and GOMB revenue estimates, or $31.312 billion, as the starting point for the creation of the FY2018 budget.
“Our schools, colleges and service agencies are relying on legislators to do their jobs and get a balanced budget put in place prior to our scheduled adjournment date of May 31,” Olsen said. “I couldn’t agree more, and hope lawmakers will choose one of the three revenue estimates presented through these resolutions, and then do the work we were sent here to do.”
In outlining the critical need for the approval of one of the resolutions, Olsen pointed to Article VIII, Section 2 of the Illinois Constitution, which states: Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year. “The adoption of a revenue estimate is required by law, and the fact that the General Assembly has not adhered to that requirement for the last two years is inexcusable,” said Olsen.
At this point, all three pieces of legislation are being held in the House Rules Committee and have not been assigned for a hearing