SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to propel the state budget process forward, State Representative Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Thursday calling on her to use the power of her office to force the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate prior to the filing and passage of any spending bills, in order to prevent further damage to the state’s finances and the many social service providers who serve the most vulnerable individuals and families across Illinois. Representative Wheeler’s letter to the Attorney General was co-signed by 39 other House Republican legislators.
In the letter, Representative Wheeler cites several prior court rulings and instances which set precedent for the Attorney General to intervene to ensure the Illinois Constitution is upheld. Both the Constitution and state law require the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base a balanced budget for the forthcoming fiscal year, an action which legislators have failed to take in either of the past two years and haven’t yet done for the coming fiscal year.
“It is time for the Attorney General to step in,” Representative Wheeler said. “The majority party in the General Assembly refuses to do their job and take the first, most basic step in the state budget process, which is to adopt a revenue estimate. It is common sense that you can’t determine how much you’re going to spend; and on which priorities, until you know how much revenue you have. Illinois families and taxpayers understand this principle; and until two years ago, the state did too.”
“Even though I am a relative newcomer to Springfield, I have learned firsthand how the budget impasse has a devastating impact on families and the human service providers who care for the most vulnerable in our community. The Attorney General can help us end this ongoing tragedy by forcing state legislators to do their job.”
As of Friday, only 12 days remain until the May 31 deadline to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2018. Representative Wheeler serves the 50thDistrict, which includes portions of Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Campton Hills, Elburn, Montgomery, Oswego, Plano, St. Charles, Sugar Grove and Yorkville.