Disappointed in General Assembly, Spain urges 'good faith' to reach compromise
Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) called for Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly to cooperate to reach a bipartisan budget agreement by July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year, after they failed to do so in the spring session.
“It was my hope, that after two years of budget inaction, Illinois leaders would set aside their differences and work together for a solution to the budget impasse,” Spain wrote in an opinion piece on his website. “I cannot adequately convey my disappointment that the General Assembly has once again failed to act.”
Spain noted that he was sworn in in January and began his term optimistic that the state’s growing financial crises – including $14 billion in unpaid bills and an unfunded pension liability of nearly $140 billion – would spur cooperation. The General Assembly is in special session to try to reach a budget before the next fiscal year, but any agreement now requires a three-fifths' majority rather than a simple majority, making bipartisan cooperation more critical.
“Both parties need to respect and understand the other’s priorities,” Spain wrote. “My priority is a balanced budget, paying down old bills, and returning economic growth to Illinois. A true budget solution for Illinois will involve tough choices. I’m prepared to make tough choices and to compromise, but good faith efforts and cooperation will be needed.”