Editor's note: State Rep. Kay Hather provided the following news release on Governor Pat Quinn's budget address. For more information on the budget itself, see this article or this article from Illinois Statehouse News.
The lack of details in Governor Quinn’s budget address Wednesday was very disappointing, State Representative Kay Hatcher said. Hatcher (R-Yorkville) said after the speech, lawmakers still don’t know how the Governor plans to handle his proposed closure and consolidation of state facilities, or his stated goals of curbing Medicaid costs and restoring solvency to our state pension systems.
“I have received word that the Governor plans to ‘consolidate’ human services offices in my district, but today I’m still working to get the details of when offices will be closed and how the administration plans to handle clients and staff,” Hatcher said. “Last year when the Governor announced planned mental health facility and prison closures he had no plan for handling displaced residents and inmates. At this point, it appears little has changed.”
Rep. Hatcher said she was also very disappointed that the Governor offered no specific proposals for curbing our skyrocketing Medicaid costs, or for restoring solvency to our struggling pension systems.
“Currently, Medicaid costs consume about one out of every three dollars in our General Revenue fund. If we don’t get these costs under control, it could soon be two out of three,” Representative Hatcher stressed. “If the Governor is now truly serious about curbing our Medicaid costs he first needs to stop dragging his feet and implement the hundreds of millions of dollars in cost-saving reforms we already passed into law more than a year ago…then he needs to put a plan on the table for additional cost savings. Today, he offered no plan.”
According to Hatcher, what the Governor did offer today was more spending and more taxes on job-creators.
“While talking about rolling the budget back to 2008 numbers, the Governor today actually proposed a bottom line that is about $3.5 billion more than what was spent in 2008; and he’s proposing new taxes on Illinois employers just a year after imposing a job-killing income tax increase. If this is the path the Governor is determined to go down this spring, it’s clear we in the General Assembly will have our work cut out for us.”