On Monday, April 11th the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform co-hosted a forum with Truth in Accounting titled “Illinois Budget: Defining & Funding the Essential Priorities.” This event was covered by Reboot Illinois – you can read their article here or view a full video of the event here!
The forum hosted a panel comprised of eight Illinois lawmakers: Rep. Patricia R. Bellock (R), Rep. Fred Crespo (D), Rep. William Davis (D), Rep. Greg Harris (D), Rep. Thomas Morrison (R), Senator Matt Murphy (R), Rep. Robert Pritchard (R), and Senator Heather Steans (D). All of the featured speakers were House and Senate Appropriation Committee Chairs of Minority Spokesmen.
The legislators had a productive and informative discussion on the Illinois budget, and Matt Dietrich of Reboot Illinois noted that if these eight lawmakers had their way, “the Illinois budget impasse would have been over long ago.” This sentiment was echoed across the board as legislators lamented the negative affects of the ongoing stalemate.
Senator Matt Murphy, Minority Spokesperson for the Appropriations I Committee, said, “the solution…is for people to pressure rank-and-file lawmakers to pressure their leaders.” He also pointed out that the current impasse is often seen as a proxy war between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Another solution was offered by Senator Heather Steans, Chair of the Senate Appropriations I Committee, who explained that “spending cuts, including the procurement reform advocated by Governor Rauner, should be part of the budget solution – along with modernizing the state’s tax code.”
Legislators also discussed the possibility of new tax revenue, increasing cost savings for the state, structural change for the long haul, and new policies to address pension debt.
The moderators for this event included Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation and Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, who have both been advocates for ending the budget impasse and enacting sensible solutions to the state’s fiscal issues
ICPR would like to thank the eight lawmakers, two moderators, Truth in Accounting, the CFA Society Chicago, and over 150 attendees for making this event a success. You can read further coverage of this event in articles by The State Journal-Register, Progress Illinois, POLITICO, The Chicago Tribune, Fox 32 Chicago, CRAIN’s Chicago Business, Capitol Fax, and The Lincoln Courier.
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