Despite promising option, Batinick doubts budget compromise
Sens. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) recently unveiled a "Taxpayer Bargain" plan that aims to solve the budget stalemate.
The plan focuses on cutting spending while protecting funding for K-12 education, Medicaid services and scheduled pension payments.
Other proposals in the budget include bringing an end to legislator pensions, reforming Medicaid to prevent fraud and abuse, restructuring state government agencies, reforming workers' compensation, and providing a new funding formula for schools that shifts education funding from property taxes to state government.
Additionally, according to a press release, the plan calls for a spending cap, Gov. Bruce Rauner to negotiate changes to employee group health care and AFSCME contract wages, and the state to borrow $7 billion to pay off past due bills.
The Sangamon Sun reached out to Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) for his take on the budget plan.
Q: What are your thoughts on this proposal?
It's great to see detailed balanced budget proposals.
Q: Will you support it? If not, what would need to be changed for you to support it?
There are many aspects of this proposal worthy of serious consideration. I would expect to support much of it.
Q: Do you think there is a way for the state to get out of its current financial crisis without borrowing more money?
The state needs to consolidate debt. We are currently paying 12 percent interest on a huge pile of back bills. We already have "borrowed" that money. Bonding it out would merely lower the rate of interest.
Q: Do you think there is enough compromise to garner bipartisan support for this plan?
While I hope for a budget, I am not confident both parties are in the mood for compromise.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
The Democrats have strong majorities in the House and Senate. I'd like to see them submit a budget.