New Holan ad slams Conroy for supporting unbalanced Madigan budget bill
Heidi Holan, the Republican candidate for the District 46 state House seat, posted a new campaign ad on social media recently.
The ad focuses on simple math and the unbalanced budget presented by House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) in May. Holan's opponent, state Rep. Deborah Conroy (D-Villa Park) voted in favor of the budget bill.
The budget impasse that resulted in Madigan's proposed budget for fiscal 2017 was rooted in the power struggle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Madigan. Rauner wanted to introduce reforms that would allow the legislature to cut spending and make Illinois more business-friendly. Rauner's plan was called the "Turnaround Agenda." Madigan, the 45-year House veteran lawmaker and 31-year House speaker, refused to negotiate any meaningful reforms that would allow cuts in the budget.
After Rauner vetoed 19 of the 20 fiscal 2016 spending bills in May 2015, the state was left without a budget for the new fiscal year.
The budget stalemate continued through 2015 and into 2016, with neither side willing to negotiate or concede. The state was able to fund some programs and pay state employees through existing appropriations and court orders.
Madigan presented his budget to the House in late May. The 500-page budget was a "winner-take-all" proposition. Instead of dividing the budget into smaller sections and voting separately on each piece, the entire budget was included in one massive bill. While the House passed the approximately $40 billion budget, despite the $7 billion deficit in revenues, the Senate voted it down.
Holan expressed her dissatisfaction with the unbalanced budget plan in her campaign video. The Illinois Constitution requires a balanced budget -- not a budget that spends more than the state receives in revenue.
"Whether it's pennies or dominoes or inches, children understand that 40 is more than 33," Holan said in the video. "Thirty-three billion is our tax base, yet Deb Conroy and Mike Madigan voted to spend 40 billion."
After Madigan's budget bill failed in the Senate, the legislature adjourned and left the state without a budget for the second year in a row. While in 2015 an education bill funded K-12 schools, the failure to pass the House budget and the Senate's education budget for FY 2017 left school districts and families wondering if schools would open in the fall.
In a flurry of activity, the legislature convened in a special session at the end of June and negotiated a temporary "stopgap" budget that funded education and essential services. While the stopgap budget allowed schools to open, social services to continue helping the needy and prisons operating, it did not address the continuing issue of unfunded pensions and the growing backlog of the state's unpaid bills. Most of the state's vendors continue to receive late payments for the goods, services and utilities provided to the state.
When the legislature reconvenes after the November election, a full budget must be developed and passed to address the unpaid bills. Moody's Investors Service said the backlog could reach $14 billion by the end of the year, while State Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said income taxes could more than double to pay those bills.
Holan supports reforms to cut spending. Her campaign is focused on lowering property taxes, cutting spending and encouraging businesses to grow and create new jobs.
"Springfield's years of overspending must end," Holan said on social media. "The families of Illinois need legislators who will prioritize spending, cut waste and appropriate based upon funds received -- in other words, balance the budget just as you do in your homes. Forty doesn't equal 33; never has, never will."