Harris backed budget for votes, not solutions, Mount Prospect pol says
Steven Polit considers Illinois' new $36.1 billion spending bill the elephant in the room.
“It won’t solve the problem of overspending here in the state,” the former Mount Prospect trustee and community organizer told the North Cook News. “Everything is temporary. With this budget, there’s no money to pay off the $15 billion in unpaid bills, which means there will have to be another increase just to do that.”
In Polit’s view, Republicans blinked at the worst possible time, with 15 of them ultimately siding with Democrats to override a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass the $36.1 million budget that imposes a permanent 32 percent income tax increase on residents and corporations.
“The problem in Illinois is spending gets you votes instead of solutions,” Polit said. “The power structure always does what it wants to do. We finally have a governor who understood you can’t spend more than you take in. Republicans were getting close to exercising power but were uncomfortable with the outcome.”
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) voted for the budget. The ranking Republican on the Revenue and Finance and General Services Appropriations committees, Harris justified his vote by arguing it was time to “save our state” and put an end to the two-year budget impasse that had decimated finances.
“People most in need are the ones suffering the most while everyone else finds a way to get by,” Polit said. “Right now, the corruption tax – or the price we as taxpayers have to pay for all the things that happen just short of corruption – is way too high.”
While Polit acknowledged that Illinois was on the verge of having its bond rating lowered again by not passing a budget, he questioned what impact that kind of punishment would have.
“The only rating lower than junk is Illinois,” he said. “If you’re having to borrow money to run operations, you need to change operations.”
Organizations in this Story
800 Central Road
Mount Prospect, IL - 60056
909 East Rand Road
Arlington Heights, IL - 60004