Batinick urges consolidation to ease some of state's debt burden
All debt is not created equal, Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) argued in an opinion piece published by the conservative online outlet The Will County News and touted by the Will County Republicans.
“Anyone following the Illinois budget impasse knows that our pile of unpaid bills is growing; up to $12.9 Billion and counting,” Batinick wrote. “In the meantime, we are paying 12 percent interest on many of those bills. That’s a big amount. We are literally incurring hundreds of millions of dollars of late payment penalties. That is money that doesn’t help balance the budget [or] fund social services, higher [education], or any of the other things state government does.”
While Batnick stressed his general opposition to the state incurring more debt, he took a practical approach to handling the current financial situation. Rather than incur more debt through mounting penalty payments, he suggested that the state consolidate its debt by bonding it out.
Batnick does not suggest consolidation as an alternative to putting measures in place to balance the budget and maintains that the state needs to have a balanced budget before seeking bonds. Through a balanced budget, the state would actually achieve more favorable bond rates, and debt consolidation stands to help close the gap between revenue and spending, he said.
Consolidation will reduce the money owed by the state through an immediate end to late fees, and that consolidation will help the state’s economy by injecting nearly $10 billion in payments to vendors and medical providers, Batinick argued. Further, Illinois owes a large amount of Medicaid payments, which will be matched by the federal government, leading to increased revenue when those payments are made.
While Batnick is supportive of using consolidation to help the state move toward a balanced budget, he called for a solution to the issues that have led to the state’s current difficulties in achieving one.
“[W]e need to place a constitutional amendment referendum on the 2018 General Election ballot strengthening the balanced budget clause,” Batnick wrote. “Illinois voters should be given the opportunity to hold legislators accountable to follow the state constitution and pass a balanced budget every year so this never happens again.”
The end of May will see two fundraisers for area Republicans: one for Circuit Court Judge Ben Braun at the Joliet Historical Museum on May 23 and one for Will County Board Member Ray Tuminello on May 24 at Gatto’s in New Lenox.
The group will take part in the Memorial Day Flag Placing at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on May 26, and volunteers are welcome to assist. The Will County Republicans will meet at the main flag assembly area, where representatives will have a sign for easy recognition. The group would also like to coordinate a presence in local Memorial Day parades, so residents in communities planning a parade should contact the group’s parade coordinators.
Organizations in this Story
20821 Briarwood Lane
Mokena, IL 60448
24047 West Lockport Street
Plainfield, IL 60544