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Illinois House Approves Appropriations Plan that Cuts Spending from 2012 Levels

State Representative Mike Tryon

State Representative Mike Tryon

Today Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in approving a budget blueprint for fiscal year 2013 that includes spending that is significantly less than what Governor Pat Quinn proposed in his budget address, and puts Illinois back onto a path toward financial stability.

House Resolution 706 was approved Thursday in a 91-16 vote, with three additional members voting present. “This appropriations plan allows us to pay off at least $1.5 billion in overdue bills while still making a full pension payment next year of $5.1 billion,” said Tryon. “While the steps we took today are difficult, they are necessary if we are to stop the practice of living beyond our means and of mortgaging our state’s future on the backs of our children.”

The plan calls for $32.9 billion in spending, which is a decrease in spending of $300 million from what is projected for spending for the current fiscal year. “This is a necessary step if we are going to make the ‘temporary’ tax increase truly temporary,” Tryon said.

With today’s approval, members of the appropriations committees will begin the process of going through the budget line by line and cutting an agreed-upon 5.4 percent. A separate committee will also look at ways to reduce the Medicaid liability by an additional $2.7 billion.

“If we fully implement this plan, we will, for the first time in many years, operate with more revenues than expenditures in Illinois,” said Tryon. “The fact of the matter is, we need to do this. This will be as difficult of a year as we’ve ever had if we do this properly, but years of mismanagement and overspending have created a situation where we have no choice.”

Earlier this month legislators agreed to a salary reduction equal to 12 days of pay and no cost of living adjustment for 2013, and Representative Tryon on Thursday renewed his call for the Governor to freeze salaries for state employees and other elected officials. “In fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012 and now for 2013, legislators have led by example by voluntarily agreeing to frozen and/or reduced wages and to no cost of living adjustments,” said Tryon. “The Governor needs to follow our lead and impose a wage freeze for all of Illinois’ elected officials and state employees.”

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