After calling the Senate back to Springfield to take up energy legislation that did not pass during the regular spring legislative session, Senate President Don Harmon and Governor JB Pritzker again failed to reach an agreement on a bill that could be brought before lawmakers.
“I support finding the right path to a cleaner energy future for Illinois in a way that protects the environment, energy consumers, labor, and taxpayers,” said State Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles). “This shared focus has been missing from these negotiations.”
Sen. DeWitte continued, “I am pleased that no action was taken on the potential shutdowns of energy-creating facilities that provide the tri-cities (Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles) and other Illinois communities with reliable, consistent, and affordable energy from a plant in southern IL with an EPA track record of being one of the cleanest coal-burning facilities in the nation. I applaud the municipalities across the state that continue to fight these premature plant closures, the labor organizations that refuse to cow-tow to the Governor’s job-killing and anti-taxpayer demands, and legislators who insist on an approach that balances clean energy objectives with a need to project jobs and the state’s fragile economy.”
While at the Capitol, majority party legislators were forced, however, to take legislative action to clean up several significant errors within the state budget that was approved two weeks ago. After the passage of the corrective language, Sen. DeWitte said, “This budget circus is an abject failure of leadership and prudent fiscal management on the part of the Governor and the Democrats who control and run this legislature. The majority party pushed through the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in such haste, they failed to include significant appropriation requirements. As a result of multiple glaring drafting errors, 85% of the General Funds budget dollars for FY22 could not have been spent by state agencies until June of 2022. This political embarrassment could have been avoided if there had been transparency within the process and proper time provided for review of the document.”
One area of the budget that wasn’t changed within the FY 22 budget was a pay raise for legislators. “The budget ‘fix’ required an amendatory veto by the Governor,” added Sen. DeWitte. “This is the same Governor who is on record as opposing pay raises for lawmakers, yet when given the opportunity to strike the pay raise language in his amendatory veto, he kept those raises in the bill. JB Pritzker had an opportunity to right a wrong, and failed to do so by making sure legislators received undeserved pay raises in FY 22.”