All the talk about the state’s recently enacted $40 billion budget actually being balanced never made sense to state Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield).
“There’s no way it could be,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette. “Until you start covering your normal cost and the interest on unfunded liability, you’re not going to have a balanced budget.”
New analysis by Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) pegs this year’s hole at around $1.3 billion, with researchers adding that this marks the 19th straight year the state has operated with a spending plan in which the numbers do not really add up.
Illinois state Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield)
“That's something we need to focus on,” Batinick said. “That’s how you end up with $135 billion in unfunded pension liability.”
IPI also noted that this year’s spending plan falls short despite lawmakers continuing a pattern of raising taxes and extending borrowing just to be able to piece the budget together.
“It certainly doesn’t help,” Batinick said of the long-running practice. “Every year, interest on debt hurts as we have money going to other services. We need to get our finances in order. I always say pension and property taxes, we need to fix those two things.”
With this year’s overall budget also including $45 billion for the state’s first capital spending plan in more than a decade, that taxpayers will also be on the hook for, Batinick recently blasted the $1,600 pay raise lawmakers carved out for themselves as part of the legislation.
“An absolute joke,” he said. “You can’t make this stuff up. It’s really just a bad joke.”
Batinick’s 97th House District includes all or parts of Oswego, Plainfield and Shorewood.