SPRINGFIELD… State Representative David Leitch (R-Peoria) joined other Central Illinois legislators in voting for the Fiscal Year 15 State Budget fix legislation aimed at addressing the $1.6 billion shortfall of the State Budget. Without action, the state would run out of money next month to pay court reporters, prison guards, childcare providers, and other funding including assistance to developmentally disabled and mentally ill.
“I met with countless families affected by the impending cuts to daycare and community-based services. Further, our Courts would grind to a halt if court reporters were not paid, not to mention the problems within our prison systems by guards’ pay halting. What was critically important is that the legislature not jeopardize any federal matching funding and minimize the immediate risk to local government funding.
Leitch went on to say, “there is a lot of pain that still comes with this budget fix. It would be an understatement to say this was nobody’s ideal solution, but it was needed to give Governor Rauner the ability he needs to manage the remainder of the FY 15 state budget.”
“I also want to thank Governor Rauner for being compassionate enough to recognize that the initially proposed cuts to autism funding, developmentally disabled services, and services to the mentally ill, were not prudent budget balancing ideas. These are areas of the budget I have worked on very hard for many years and the Governor agreed they should be spared from the painful cuts occurring throughout the budget due to the ineptitude of the entrenched super-majority that passed this unbalanced state budget last year.”
House Bills 317 and 318 were the two bills passed on Tuesday to fix the funding shortfall in last year’s state budget in order to allow the state to pay bills through the end of June. Both bills passed with bipartisan majorities and will now go to the State Senate where it is hoped they will pass this week.
Rep. Leitch can be reached at his Peoria Legislative Office at 309-690-7373.