SPRINGFIELD– With just five legislative days left before the scheduled adjournment date, Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) blasted Senate leadership Friday for its unwillingness for yet another year to tackle major issues facing the state.
“When we took the oath of office in January, we knew there were major issues including pensions, gaming, the right to carry, record unpaid bills, and the budget that needed to be addressed this session,” said Senator Syverson. “Now, with just five scheduled session days to go before adjournment, we have reached no agreement and there has been little discussion on any of these issues. It just goes to show the dysfunction of a state government that has been controlled by one party for 12 years.
“After last November’s election, the Democrats in our state won massive majorities in each chamber, and the Governor’s office. They rightfully stated at the time that with these majorities and control of every office, that they would be the ones held responsible if they didn’t address the major issues,” Syverson said. “Well, they are in control, and yes, they should be held accountable.”
Syverson is especially critical of the lack of progress on a state budget. With the record revenues coming in this year, the Governor proposed a budget this spring that made massive cuts to K-12 education, especially transportation, and cuts to higher education. However, at the same time, the proposal incorporated new and expanded programs that greatly increase state spending.
“There has been no public discussion or promised transparency on this budget. One reason for the concerns over lack of budget transparency is the recent discovery of the financial irregularities in the school funding formula,” said Syverson, referring to the recent report stating Chicago Public Schools receive hundreds of millions of dollars disproportionately to schools across the state. “If these formulas are corrected, school districts like Rockford, Harlem, Belvidere, DeKalb, and others would not be receiving substantial cuts this year but in fact would see increases in funding. “
“We are strongly urging all of our area legislators to reject this proposed budget until the school funding formulas are corrected and we have a state budget that is truly balanced, one that pays its bills and is on a path towards reaching a true balanced-budget,” Syverson said.
The legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 31.