State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) has signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of legislation that would significantly reform Illinois’ budget process and help restore the state’s fiscal health.
The “Taxpayer’s Fiscal Charter,” filed this year as HB 4229, gives broad power to taxpayers, limits lawmakers’ ability to create new and unfunded entitlement programs, stops the flow of unfunded mandates toward schools and local government, and ensures the pension system’s stability.
“General Assembly Democrats have repeatedly voted for tax hikes by mistakenly insisting that tax increases are the only way to secure pension funding,” said Mazzochi. “The latest tax increase squeezes taxpayers for an additional $5 billion. Freezing discretionary spending levels will help ensure those tax dollars are directed where Democrats promised they would go: to reduce long-term structural debt and pension liabilities.”
Specifically, HB 4229 includes:
- A two-year freeze in discretionary State spending; the freeze would continue after the deadline if at that point the State is unable to pay vendors within 30 days
- A prohibition against adding any new programs or expansions of existing programs unless a full pension payment – based on actuarial requirements – is made
- A requirement that any new legislation which creates new spending include an identified revenue source or identified cuts to an existing program to pay for the new spending
- A mandatory 72-hour online posting of the General Assembly’s proposed new fiscal year budget prior to passage
According to Mazzochi, shortly after its filing, majority party Democrats stuffed HB 4229 into the Rules Committee, firmly under the control of House Speaker Mike Madigan; this Committee controls the flow of bills, and refused to assign the legislation to a substantive committee for a fair hearing. “Lawmakers must take serious action to address decades of reckless spending in Illinois,” said Mazzochi. “We have to make the difficult decisions, not turn a blind eye to fiscal reality. I support this legislation’s disciplinary steps. It’s unconscionable that the ruling party has made Illinois residents suffer the highest effective tax rate in the nation for even more out of control spending. We will only achieve future financial stability through responsible, disciplined budgeting. That means we stop spending money we don’t have and always insist that existing revenues outpace expenditures. This legislation starts that process.”