Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Saturday, November 16, 2019

'There's no way' budget can be balanced as long as Democrats ignore the issues, Rep. Batinick says

Local Government

By Glenn Minnis | Jun 17, 2019

Money 04

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.

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Illinois Representative Mark Batinick (R-97th)

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