In the days leading to the General Assembly’s adjournment, Senate Democrats approved weak crime legislation that does nothing to actually deter crime in Illinois. Then, in the overnight hours between April 8-9, they pushed through a $46.54 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. In response to the passage of these bills, State Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) issued the following statement:
“This is a year of missed opportunities. With billions in ARPA funds and unanticipated revenues, the Legislature could have taken responsible steps to shore up the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (UITF) that was decimated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide Illinoisans with substantial and permanent tax relief. Instead, the majority party left a $1.8 billion hole in the UITF and chose temporary election-year measures that expire after the November election over the permanent relief taxpayers need.
“Senate Republicans offered permanent tax relief that could really help Illinoisans living through record-high inflation. We wanted to deliver immediate and permanent savings of up to 16 cents per gallon at the gas pump, but Democrats chose temporary relief of just 2-3 cents per gallon that expires just a few weeks after the November election. They believe those tax dollars should be in the state’s coffers rather than in consumers’ pockets.
“Noticeably absent this session year was any effort by Illinois Democrats to address the surge in crime throughout our state. While Republican bills that strengthened accountability measures for violent criminals were denied consideration, Democrats succeeded in passing a series of weak bills that do nothing to deter crime or get violent offenders off the street. Illinoisans deserved better.”