* Two House Democrats talk to the Daily Herald about the budget…
“In the governor’s introduced budget, he is not putting in the $350 million for K-12, but that’s not going very well with both Democrats and Republicans,” [Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates] said. “(Republicans and Democrats) coalesced over that and agreed that’s not a good idea.”
While members of the House plan to push for the education funding, they also recognize the state will face a $1.4 billion revenue shortage and cuts need to be made somewhere. Where exactly those cuts happen will be a source of debate among Democrats, Republicans and Pritzker in the weeks before the legislature’s scheduled May 31 adjournment.
“We need to look at: ‘Where do we cut?’ and ‘Can we cut enough to close that hole?’” Crespo said.
Pritzker’s proposal also calls for a 10% cut to what towns get from the state’s Local Government Distributive Fund, a pool of income tax money. Crespo and Kifowit also oppose that proposal.
“I am strongly against it,” Crespo said. “Any cuts to the local distributive funds could very easily result in an increase in property taxes, and in my mind and my constituents’, our biggest problem and our biggest issue is property taxes.”
Keep in mind, the American Rescue Plan is sending $5 billion to Illinois’ K-12 schools, $2.3 billion to counties, $2.4 billion to larger cities and $681 million to smaller municipalities. The General Assembly could also impose a temporary property tax freeze on municipalities.
* The Question: Should the Local Government Distributive Fund be left alone in the state budget this year? Make sure to explain your answer.