Rep. Hammond Responds to Gov. Pritzker’s Budget Address, Urges Spending Discipline, No New Taxes

Springfield – Today, Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his second annual budget address. State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) responded to the governor’s remarks and offered her priorities of what she’d like to see in the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget which begins on July 1 of this year.

“Governor Pritzker’s proposed budget spends too much, fails to take advantage of potential efficiencies and cost-savings, and relies on the passage of income tax increases,” said Rep. Hammond. “Simply put, the governor’s budget is just a wish list that doesn’t address the fiscal realities our state faces. The surplus from last year’s bipartisan, balanced budget has grown, which will allow us to make necessary investments in our state’s underfunded pensions and public education system, while protecting taxpayers from tax hikes and paying off old bills. I urge lawmakers to consider spending discipline and put the taxpayers first as we work to craft a bipartisan, balanced budget.”

FY21 budget estimates show that personal income, corporate income, and sales tax receipts will grow by nearly $1 billion thanks to strong, national economic growth. That increased revenue is more than enough to balance the budget, meet our state’s obligations to the pensions systems, and make increased investments in K-12 and higher education.

Governor Pritzker proposed increasing state spending by over $2.2 billion on top of our current budget, but failed to make meaningful spending reductions to existing state programs and agencies. The governor previously instructed his agency directors to identify 6.5% in reductions to achieve efficiencies that do not result in hardships on those who receive state services. Those reductions were not included in his FY21 budget proposal. Rep. Hammond called on budget makers to consider those spending reductions when crafting the FY21 budget.

“We should be looking to make efficiencies to state programs whenever we can,” Rep. Hammond continued. “Our next budget should include the spending reductions the governor requested from his agency directors. Additionally, we must consider additional job-creating economic reforms so we can grow our state’s economy and improve our state’s poor fiscal condition without raising taxes or imposing drastic cuts on education and other vital services.”