In June, 2016, the Illinois legislature finally passed and the Governor signed a “budget” for Fiscal Year 2016 which was just ending on June 30th and for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017. This “budget” ends on December 31,2016.
The budget which is ending on December 31st is not real. That is because it is just a spending plan with no new revenue. Every day for the past 18 months, Illinois has gone deeper into debt. indeed, for many, many years we have put off raising taxes and borrowed from our future. The current “budget” just accelerated our borrowing. Every day that we postpone raising taxes and cutting spending makes the task of enacting a balanced budget more difficult because our existing debt gets bigger.
Everyone knows that spending cuts alone will not solve this problem. No public official from either party has proposed a balanced budget which does not include a tax increase.
Action item: Advocates for a decent mental health system in Illinois must continue to tell their state senator and state representative and the Governor to agree on a balanced budget and agree to raise taxes.