- Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 11:05 AM
SPRINGFIELD - Sunday marked the scheduled completion of the legislative session, though the legislature and governor were unable to agree on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, leaving the session unresolved for now.
You might have read my recent comments reciting the budget history of the past few years. Suffice it to say that we're experiencing a severe fiscal crunch owing in large part to the decrease in revenue that occurred this year, together with some of the increases in fixed costs built into the operation of state government. In my view, the only reasonable way out of this situation is to work together to achieve a sustainable resolution that asks something of everyone and shares the sacrifice. Instead, the governor's proposed budget relied on viciously slashing services for the most vulnerable, together with alleged pension savings that could not have possibly been achieved given the state constitution. As a result, compromise became close to impossible, and the General Assembly was unable to complete its work by the May 31st deadline.
In response to this situation, the legislature decided to pass a budget that made some cuts and had no additional revenue and thus was several billion dollars out of balance. While I understand that there are no good options available to us, I nonetheless decided not to support this budget. I think we can do better, and I think that holding out for a better option is the best way to move us toward a truly fair budget that funds our priorities and charts a course to fiscal health.
The General Assembly will continue our work throughout the summer. I will do what I can to push for fiscal stability and compromise, but I will never be willing to balance our budget on the backs of working families and the most vulnerable among us. I'll do my very best to keep you updated along the way.