The Illinois House today took the next crucial step in passing a new state budget that reduces spending and puts Illinois’ finances on the path to recovery. State Representative Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) today strongly supported passage of House Resolution 706 which sets a spending figure for the state’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget at $32.9 billion – less than was spent last year, and less than Governor Pat Quinn’s spending proposal.
“A few weeks ago we agreed on a realistic number for how much money we expect the state to take in next year. Today, we took the next step – deciding how much we can afford to spend, and it’s not good news. Tough decisions will need to be made and there will be cuts. This is hard, but it’s what we must do to begin to fix our budget crisis,” Rep. Hatcher said.
With the spending number now agreed to, Hatcher said House Appropriations Committees will begin the process of going through agency and program budgets line by line to cut approximately 5.4%. A special committee is also looking at ways to make $2.7 billion in cuts to the state’s Medicaid program, one of the fastest growing areas of the state budget.
In addition to setting the FY 13 spending limit, HR 706 also includes language to begin paying off the state’s backlog of bills ($1.5 billion in FY13) and also to ensure the state makes the full pension payment required by law.
“We must meet our obligations and live within our means, and that will require more than cuts” Hatcher said. “Our Medicaid and pension systems are on the brink of financial collapse-we need to enact real reforms to restore them to solvency.”