Springfield….With the State of Illinois teetering on the brink of insolvency, and two days into its third fiscal year without a budget, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphsyboro) voted Sunday evening for Illinois’ first balanced budget in more than 15 years.
Bryant acknowledged on the House floor during her remarks on Senate Bill 9 that she would likely face political retribution for her vote. SB 9 raises the personal income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95%, still lower than the previous 5% rate in effect until 2015.
In a statement following the vote, Representative Bryant referenced the widespread harm caused by the years-long budget impasse.
“Small businesses that are performing services for the state are being put into bankruptcy because of our failure to pay them,” Bryant said. “K-12 schools may not be able to stay open all year or may not open at all. SIU is on the brink of losing its accreditation and its bonds are considered junk status because of the failure of the legislature to enact a balanced budget. Health care providers, children with autism, and victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence will all be helped by this balanced budget.”
Bryant says she understands that some may argue that a tax increase is not fiscally conservative, but she says our current ‘government-by-court-order’ system is already costing the State of Illinois hundreds of millions of dollars more than what it takes in every month. Bryant says the issue of overspending is addressed in SB 6.
“SB 6 is a bipartisan balanced budget bill that restrains spending,” Bryant said. “Since the impasse began, I and many other leaders at the Capitol have acknowledged that a mix of cuts and revenues would be necessary to balance the budget. SB 6 contains nearly $3 billion in state spending cuts. It is balanced and it will be a key to stabilizing the fiscal ship of the State of Illinois. The financial consequences of failing to act on a balanced budget at this point in our history were just too severe. I believe our action today will save the State of Illinois.”