budget debate 2016In a slap in the face to bipartisan lawmakers who had been meeting for weeks and making progress in budget working groups, House Democrats rammed through a 500-page budget bill on Wednesday that spends $7 billion more than what the state is expected to bring in for Fiscal Year 2017. In response to the fast-tracked vote, State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) issued the following statement:


“This 500-page budget bill was brought to the floor of the House, and there was not one person in the entire chamber who had read it in full. Even the majority leader who carried the bill admitted that she had not read the bill in its entirety. Leader Currie couldn’t provide exact expenditure numbers or revenue expectation numbers, yet she said her amendment to SB 2048 was a good bill that should be supported by all.”


“Our best guess is that this budget is more than $7 billion out of balance. With today’s backlog of bills totaling just over $7 billion, House Democrats, with one single vote, just agreed to double that backlog of bills. It’s unconscionable.”


“Today’s travesty belittles and mocks all of the rank and file lawmakers from both parties and both chambers who have been working in good faith over the last several weeks on a compromise budget. Every person in those working groups demonstrated their genuineness and brought to the table a spirit of compromise and a willingness to reach an agreement. Progress was being made. On some topics we were very close to agreement. The Speaker’s decision to ignore that progress and instead pull this power-play when we still have six days to reach a budget agreement makes the strongest case yet that it’s time for him to go.”


To watch Sandack’s floor debate on today’s budget vote, click here.