With just four weeks remaining until the General Assembly’s spring session adjournment date of May 31, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of three pieces of legislation that should help bolster chances of lawmakers leaving Springfield with a balanced budget on its way to the Governor.
This week Reick signed on as a leading House sponsor for House Joint Resolutions 49, 50 and 51. Each provides a legitimate revenue estimate that could be used as the starting point for the creation of a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. HJR 49 uses the non-partisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) FY2018 revenue estimate of $31.147 billion, HJR 50 uses the FY2018 estimate published by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) of $31.476 billion, and HJR 51 utilizes an average of the COGFA and GOMB revenue estimates, or $31.312 billion, as the starting point for the creation of the FY2018 budget.
“We have a legal obligation under Article VIII, Section two of the Illinois Constitution to approve a revenue estimate so we can fulfil our duty of creating a balanced budget,” said Reick. “Step one requires us to come to agreement on the revenue side of the budget.”
Reick pointed out that any of the revenue estimates could be later amended to reflect an increase or decrease in expected tax revenue. “We obviously don’t know yet how taxes and fees might be adjusted for Fiscal Year 2018, but by law we can update or amend our revenue projection so it remains accurate,” Reick said. “We need to take this step without delay. Taxpayers sent us to Springfield to do this job and I’m hopeful that a majority of legislators can get behind one of these resolutions so we can complete our work.”
At this time, all three pieces of legislation are being held in Speaker Mike Madigan’s House Rules Committee and they have not been assigned to a substantive committee for a hearing.