Springfield, Ill – State Sen. Pamela Althoff is joining members of the Senate Republican Caucus in urging Gov. Quinn not to include his $9 billion borrowing proposal when he unveils his proposed budget on Wednesday.
Althoff is warning the proposed borrowing plan would “back load” payments, freeing up money for new spending in the short-term while imposing huge payments on future governors.
“This is exactly the type of irresponsible fiscal maneuver that led to our budget crisis in the first place,” said Althoff, a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Instead of paying down the bills like we should be, this plan will actually result in billions of dollars in new spending, while pushing off repayment of the borrowing years down the road. It’s time for the Governor to face up to the fact that we’ve run out of time for any more gimmicks – the state’s fiscal day of reckoning is today.”
Under the way the Governor’s plan is structured, the State of Illinois would repay the borrowing over 15 years, even though the borrowed money would all be spent from current operating expenses. Althoff noted that long of a repayment schedule means interest payments would total around $4 billion, meaning the state would have pay back a total of $13 billion over the long haul.
“Once again, the Governor is pushing off a huge burden onto the next generation,” Althoff said. “I cannot and will not support a proposal that does not tackle today’s fiscal challenges today.”
Althoff also noted that despite a recent measure capping new state spending at 2 percent, the Governor’s proposal gives him the ability to spend much more than that.
“At the end of the day, the Governor’s plan will increase new spending by $2 billion at a time we’re facing a deficit of more than $10 billion,” Althoff said. . “A responsible state government – just like a responsible family – would cut its future spending to make sure bills don’t spiral out of control. Instead, this plan does exactly the opposite – spending money we simply don’t have, and putting our fiscal health at greater risk.”
While Althoff appreciates the Governor’s desire to pay back state vendors – his stated reason for seeking the new borrowing plan – she said a better way to pay for it would be to tap into the $7 billion tax hike recently passed by the legislative majority and signed by Gov. Quinn.
“There is already money out there we could be using to pay back our vendors – revenues from the 67 percent income tax hike,” Althoff said. “That would be a far more responsible way of putting our fiscal house back in order.”" /> Skip to Main Content
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