Springfield….With time running out to save funding for critical state services, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined fellow House Republicans today in voting yes to balance the Fiscal Year 2015 budget. The measure passed with only 22 Democrat votes. Bryant noted that the original measure that caused the crisis passed with only Democrat votes last May, and contained only enough money to fund half of the year’s services.
“Today the House took action to clean up a big mess that Pat Quinn left behind,” Bryant said. “While the measure does make some cuts, we voted to save funding for child care services, front line prison staff and court reporters’ pay checks, and worked out a way for southern Illinois schools to avoid really major cuts. We were also able to accomplish this without putting the state further in debt by borrowing money or by raising taxes.”
The FY 15 budget fix bill combined an across the board 2.25% cut to most state government agencies, and gives Governor Rauner the authority to transfer money from special funds in order to keep essential services operational. Bryant says that while the bill is not perfect, it does help protect working families and public safety.
“It was imperative for the legislature to provide a solution to these issues as soon as possible,” Bryant said. “The news out of Springfield will not be good for some that rely on the State of Illinois for funding, but essential services had to be maintained. I think this approach was the most equitable way to accomplish a compassionate end to some of the most immediate financial crises we’re facing.”
House Bills 317 and 318 will now move to the Senate for consideration.