SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and Democratic legislative leaders once again chose bigger government and special interests over plans that better reflect the priorities of Illinois citizens, approving a $50 billion state spending plan May 25.
State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) says Senate Republicans have for months offered plans that would better reflect the priorities of hard-working taxpayers, but those real-life priorities were ignored, and Syverson says he could not vote for the budget. Democratic leaders chose instead to create new programs for their own special interests and funding pork projects in their districts while ignoring the working families statewide who are struggling financially.
One of those misplaced priorities includes the ballooning, $1.1 billion free healthcare program for undocumented immigrants. The program has continued to significantly exceed budget projections since its implementation and no cost controls have ever been put in place.
“When we discuss legislative priorities, especially when it comes to state spending, we always talk about caring for our state’s most vulnerable residents,” Syverson said. “We did push for an increase in funding for disability programs, but there is a lot of financial ground to make up. Illinois ranks 47th out of 50 states in funding community-based services for people with disabilities. Instead of fully funding this vulnerable population, we are set to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on free healthcare for non-citizens.”
Fiscal Year 2024 runs from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.