SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) called a delay in Governor Pat Quinn’s annual Budget Message to late March a “sham” to continue to push off bad news about Illinois’ critical financial problems. The Senate Wednesday voted to move Quinn’s address from February 19 to March 26.
Syverson says Quinn’s move is purely political, and will make the job of the legislature more difficult and less transparent in crafting a budget for the next fiscal year.
“Governor Quinn has been in office for five years. He knows when budgets have to be presented and he has all the information needed, just like every previous governor has had. He shouldn’t need more time,” said Senator Syverson. “With so many questions about the fate of the income tax increase and how to pay down our massive backlog of bills, Pat Quinn should be engaging himself in the budget process sooner rather than later.”
Syverson says Quinn needs to be forward with the legislature and people of Illinois on his plans to allow the 2011 Democrat tax increase to expire on January 1, keep it place, or to join many of his Democrat colleagues supporting higher taxes on most Illinoisans through a graduated income tax.
“Waiting six weeks delays schools and human service agencies from planning for the next budget year. The Governor has said his reason for the delay is he wants to look at a five year budget No one in Springfield believes that is the real reason,” said Syverson. “He hasn't even been able to balance a one-year budget, let alone look at five.”
Syverson says the Governor can’t look at a five-year budget without knowing if the tax is going to be eliminated, phased out, or kept. He says it is more than a coincidence that Quinn would delay the budget until after the primary. Watch Senator Syverson respond to the delay here.
“Pat Quinn is suffering from a transparency problem and he’s making Illinois suffer because of it,” said Syverson.
Syverson says Governor Quinn has shown poor leadership on the state’s financial issues since taking office in 2009, and that is borne out by the fact that even with a 67% tax increase Illinois ranks 50th in fiscal solvency. He says the people of Illinois should demand more from their chief executive.