Sen. Althoff says Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget address was short on specifics on how he plans to tackle the state’s fiscal crisis.

Althoff joined other lawmakers on Wednesday, February 22 to hear the Governor’s fiscal speech to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. While she appreciated the Governor’s sober tone in talking about Illinois’ budgetary woes, Althoff saw little in the way of answers in terms of how to address them.

“I applaud the fact he finally admitted Illinois is in the middle of a deep fiscal crisis, but what we really need now is leadership on where to go to fix it,” Althoff said. “He mentioned he favors reducing Medicaid spending, which sounds great, but he provided no details as to where and how much he would cut. We need those answers, sooner rather than later.”

Althoff, who serves on the Senate Appropriations II Committee, also questioned the figures used by the Governor that seemed to downplay the severity of Illinois’ budget deficit.

“The Governor touted the fact his Fiscal Year 2013 budget would spend less money compared to 2008, but that’s only if you use magical math,” Althoff said. “In reality, when you add up the total spending in the two budgets, we will be spending $3.4 billion more next year compared to 2008. If we want to get serious about tackling Illinois’ fiscal storm, the first step is to realize and acknowledge just how bad the situation is. Unfortunately, it appears the Governor hasn’t reached that step yet.”

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