Batinick all in with Rauner's call for balanced budget
Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) thinks Gov. Bruce Rauner’s idea for a full and balanced budget is such a good one he doesn’t understand why lawmakers are content to just stop at the basics.
“We should always being striving for this,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette. “I don’t understand why we would only be shooting for a year. I believe we should be planning budgets two years out.”
Rauner’s plan further calls for lawmakers to enact a full-year fiscal 2019 budget before July 1 that adheres to a revenue estimate instead of a partial spending plan that would only carry the state through November’s general election.
Rauner, who is running for a second term against Democrat J.B. Pritzker in November, has also pressed lawmakers to present him with a bill that seeks to save taxpayers as much as $1 billion in annual pension costs before the end of the spring legislative session on May 31.
Batinick, running for re-election in the 97th District in November’s general election, joins the likes of Republican House Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in throwing his support behind Rauner's plan.
“The price of not having a balanced budget in place is immeasurable when it comes to things like stock costs,” Batinick said. “Not having a good budget brings the state’s credit rating down so much that other towns and cities have to pay higher credit rates because of the state’s low rating. I was told Plainfield has had to pay $50,000 in additional fees.”
As it is, Illinois’ $130 billion in unfunded pension liability and a two-year stretch where the state was forced to operate without a balanced budget in place has pushed the state’s credit ratings to just a shade above junk status.
Batinick said he isn’t sure what will come of Rauner’s plan, but he fears what might be if it doesn’t.
“Instability is bad for so many reasons and the economic harm it causes is real,” he added.
The 97th District includes all or parts of Oswego, Plainfield and Shorewood.