Jesiel Responds to FY19 Budget

Following the General Assembly’s passage of the first balanced budget in a decade, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) had this to say:

“When I first entered the House in 2014, Illinois had not had a balanced budget in years,” said Jesiel. “I’m glad that is finally going to change. This FY19 Budget is far from perfect, but the common-sense fact that expenditures cannot exceed revenues has finally been recognized.

“This budget agreement demonstrates that we can actually negotiate in good faith without increasing taxes, which is part of the reason I voted for it. I am glad we are providing some stability through increased K-12 and higher education funding, which includes a merit-based scholarship to stop the brain-drain to other states. To help high-tax, low-wealth school districts, this package includes a tax-swap grant to provide property tax relief, something I pushed for in the education funding reform process. This budget also addresses pension spiking and creates a buyout option to reduce our pension liability. In addition, the package addresses unpaid bills from FY17 and FY18, as well as funding for critically needed infrastructure projects.

“However, passing this balanced budget is one small step. The state still needs to get serious about policy reform – we need to shift the local funding burden to reduce the excessive property tax burden on residents and lower the overall tax burden that is driving people out of Illinois. This means we will need to reduce spending next year, and the year after that, and get serious about workers’ compensation reform to make Illinois more desirable to job creators so we can actually grow. This also means taking the pension reform in this package beyond minor adjustments and producing long-term changes to make the system solvent, and pay down all our long-term obligations, not just those from the past couple years. Doing all of this won’t be easy, but finally passing a balanced budget for the first time in a decade is a good place to start,” Jesiel concluded.

For more information about the budget, Click Here

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