Requires Legislators to pass a budget – or not be paid

 Edwardsville…With the Illinois General Assembly facing its most difficult budget challenges in generations, State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment that will require lawmakers to pass a balanced budget - or not be paid.

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 “The existing balanced budget provision in our state Constitution has proven woefully ineffective in keeping spending under control,” said Rep. Kay.  “Years of fiscal irresponsibility has left our state struggling to pay its bills and cutting vital services.  We must act now to ensure long-term financial stability of our state.”

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 Today House Republicans introduced House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 32 to put real “teeth” into the state’s balanced budget requirement. It demands that within 30 days of the enactment of a budget, the Auditor General’s Office must certify that the budget will be balanced with expenses not exceeding expected revenue. If the Auditor General declares that the budget is not balanced then the Comptroller will:

  • Stop payment for the salary of General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers; and
  • Stop all payments, besides those affecting public safety of the State, required by law, or required by the federal government

 “If the General Assembly and the Governor can’t pass a balanced budget, this legislation will suspend their pay until they can do their job.  The taxpayers deserve to know that we are taking this budget crisis seriously and are committed to a balanced budget,” said Rep. Kay. 

 If adopted by the General Assembly, the new constitutional balanced budget amendment would then be placed on the ballot for approval by voters statewide in 2014.

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