From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – Every part of state government, including elected officials, has a role to play in helping to fix fiscal problems, state Sen. Kyle McCarter said today as he announced he was returning a healthy portion of his legislative budget to the state.
“Everyone has to do their part and that means every state department and every state agency, including lawmakers,” said McCarter, R-Lebanon. “I reduced the amount of money allocated for my district office expenses saving more than $8,000. That money will go back to the state’s General Revenue Fund.”
McCarter first announced June 26 he was cutting his district office budget by 10 percent The 2015 fiscal year ended June 30.
“The primary role for senators and representatives is not to overspend beyond the taxpayers’ ability to pay. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen over the past decade that idea has been ignored and that’s why we are in the midst of a fiscal crisis,” said McCarter.
The 54th District senator has consistently promoted the idea of fiscal responsibility since first taking office in February of 2009, succeeding Senator Frank Watson who retired.
“Fiscal responsibility works every time it’s tried,” said McCarter. “When I first came to the Senate, the state’s fiscal mess was a known fact. I suggested at the time a 10 percent reduction in spending across-the-board to begin to get Illinois back on its fiscal feet. If we had been responsible starting six years ago, we would not be in the mess we are in today and we’d be much closer to an agreeable budget that adequately addresses our needs.”
As of today, July 8, there is no state budget in place for the 2016 Fiscal Year, which began on July 1.
“Government has a responsibility to be good stewards of the peoples’ money,” said McCarter. “Its track record in over the past 10 to 12 years is not good. Adding insult to injury, the Democrats imposed a 67 percent state income tax hike in 2011 that required taxpayers to give up about a week’s worth of pay for four years. Taxpayers’ sacrificed, but government did not. That has to change. There will be tough decisions to come in the weeks ahead. I am hopeful the governor, Senate President Cullerton and House Speaker Madigan will ultimately come to an agreement that’s in the best interest of the people of Illinois.”