In the overnight hours of May 31-June 1, majority party Democrats rammed through a nearly 4,000-page budget that guides spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2021. No committee hearing was held, and legislators were not provided with an adequate amount of time to read and understand the document.
As approved and sent to the Governor, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget had several drafting errors including the absence of many key effective dates. Without the effective dates, 85 percent of General Funds money could not be spent by State agencies until June of 2022, 11 months into the fiscal year. It was a sloppy mistake, and one that could have been avoided if there was transparency within the budget process and if ample time had been provided for a thorough review of the lengthy document.
The budget fix required an amendatory veto by the Governor. While fixing the multiple drafting errors, the Governor could have used his veto pen to strike out the line item for legislative pay raises. Senate Republicans urged the Governor to do the right thing and remove legislative pay raises, but their request was ignored and the Governor kept the raises in the budget. Gov. Pritzker had an opportunity to right a wrong, but instead chose to go along with giving senators and state representatives an underserved raise for FY 22.