State Rep. Mike Tryon has issued the following end of session press release:
Legislators Approve First Balanced Budget in Years
$33.2 Budget Package Includes Full Pension Payment and No Borrowing
SPRINGFIELD…..Conservative budget figures, fiscal discipline and a bipartisan approach has led to the first balanced budget for Illinois in many years. According to State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), it is the first balanced budget he has seen since he was elected to the General Assembly in 2005.
“The final budget included difficult budget decisions, but it forces the state to live within its means so that bills can be paid and finances can get back on track,” said Tryon. “It is a huge step in the right direction for Illinois.”
The $33.2 billion spending plan is $2 billion less than what Governor Quinn requested earlier this year in his budget address.
Whereas the last two budgets included $3.7 billion in borrowing to make the pension payment, this new budget includes $4.2 billion to fully fund the mandated pension payment with no borrowing required.
“For the several weeks leading up to the budget votes, Representatives from both sides of the aisle worked together reviewing the budget line-by-line,” said Tryon. “We started by cutting pay raises and administrative costs wherever possible.” Just one component eliminates cost of living increases for legislators and mandates 12 unpaid furlough days for legislators and many other state employees for FY 12.
Tryon went on to say that the efforts that went into this year’s budget process must continue. “It is not a one-year process, and if we hope to get out of the hole and stay out of the hole this is the way we will need to approach the budget every year,” he said. “Only with continued discipline will we truly change the culture of overspending that has been too prevalent in Illinois.”
The budget now awaits the signature of the governor.
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This year’s budget is $31.1 billion, reports Tryon’s office.
Therefore, spending could go up $2.1 billion.
How about a chorus of “We’re in the money.”