An email from State Rep. Mike Tryon:
Today I joined my colleagues in the House of Representatives in approving a budget blueprint for fiscal year 2013 that includes spending that is significantly less than what Governor Pat Quinn proposed in his budget address, and puts Illinois back onto a path toward financial stability.
House Resolution 706 was approved today in a 91-16 vote, with three additional members voting present.
This appropriations plan allows us to pay off at least $1.5 billion in overdue bills while still making a full pension payment next year of $5.1 billion.
While the steps we took today are difficult, they are necessary if we are to stop the practice of living beyond our means and of mortgaging our state’s future on the backs of our children.
The plan calls for $32.9 billion in spending, which is a decrease in spending of $300 million from what is projected for spending for the current fiscal year.
This is a necessary step if we are going to make the “temporary” tax increase truly temporary.
With today’s approval, members of the appropriations committees will begin the process of going through the budget line by line and cutting an agreed-upon 5.4 percent. A separate committee will also look at ways to reduce the Medicaid liability by an additional $2.7 billion.
If we fully implement this plan, we will, for the first time in many years, operate with more revenues than expenditures in Illinois.
The fact of the matter is, we need to do this.
This will be as difficult of a year as we’ve ever had if we do this properly, but years of mismanagement and overspending have created a situation where we have no choice.
In fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012 and now for 2013, legislators have led by example by voluntarily agreeing to frozen and/or reduced wages and to no cost of living adjustments, and today I call on Governor Quinn to do the same.
The Governor needs to follow our lead and impose a wage freeze for all of Illinois’ elected officials and state employees.
I will continue to update you as the budget issue makes its way through our spring legislative process, and as always, if my staff or I can assist you in any way, please do not hesitate to call my Crystal Lake office at 815-459-6453.
Michael W. Tryon
State Representative, District 64