Dupage Policy Journal

Dupage Policy Journal

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Breen says taxpayer-funded abortions cannot proceed without budget revenue estimate


By Angela Underwood | Jun 15, 2018

Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard)

State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) recently made it clear that you can’t use a taxpayer-funded budget to pay for abortions if that budget doesn't contain a revenue estimate.

Coming out of court on June 13, Breen discussed the debate over taxpayer-funded abortions violating the state constitution, as seen in HB 40, which a trial judge dismissed last year when he brought it before the court.

“The backdrop is abortion, but the issues are of fiscal sanity,” Breen said. 

Now his challenge is before the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court. 

Breen said there was a “good-spirited argument” in court over whether “the legislature be compelled to follow the U.S. Constitution and actually abide by our balanced budget requirements?”

“Because you heard on the floor debate... that the Democrats are not going to do it…but that is the whole point of the balanced budget requirement,” Breen said.

The attorney general’s office wants to force bills to be disgorged that may be validly or invalidly held by a motion to reconsider, according to Breen, who is an anti-abortion attorney. 

“That is a violation of the separation of powers and a violation of one of the most ancient traditions in parliamentary practice,” he said.

Breen said the move is a tactic being used to hold some bills, which puts the governor in a bad political position. He said he was hopeful that the justices reviewing the case considered the legislative procedure and how a bill becomes law.

“The bill dies if it is subject to a motion to reconsider,” Breen said, adding that when confronted with that fact in court, the attorney general’s office didn’t have an answer.  

Breen said the General Assembly purposely didn't put forth a revenue estimate based on the trial court’s decision last year. 

“So the appellate court, I hope, will reverse that and correct that error because that is a grave error,” Breen said.

The General Assembly needs to be told how to do its job and put a revenue estimate in the budget, he added. 

“We are spending $39.7 billion, and no one even talked about revenue numbers above 38.5,” he said. “Without a revenue estimate, we don’t even know if HB 40 can go into effect.”

The bottom line is that Breen wants the funding for HB 40 to be enjoined. 

“That is one little part of a much larger budget,” Breen said. “If someone wants to come to court and make a case to throw out a whole budget, then let them do that.”

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Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Illinois Representative Peter Breen (R-48th)

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