State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) is refiling his "Taxpayer's Fiscal Charter" which contains important reforms to Illinois' budget process.
The Taxpayer's Fiscal Charter gives broad power to taxpayers, limits lawmakers' ability to create new and unfunded entitlement programs and ensures the pension system's stability for years to come.
"The State has a long way to go and this legislation is a common-sense, major first step to stop the bleeding. My legislation will stop wasteful spending, promote a thirty-day payment cycle and require the State to make its full pension payment," Davidsmeyer said. "Unfortunately, when I filed the Taxpayer's Fiscal Charter last year, it was not allowed to see the light of day. So I am refiling my legislation for consideration this Spring and ask that the Speaker give it a fair and open hearing."
House Bill 4229 creates the Taxpayer's Fiscal Charter Act and freezes discretionary State spending for two years. The freeze continues after the two-year deadline if the State is unable to pay vendors within 30 days. It also does not allow for new programs or expansion of entitlement programs unless a full pension payment - based on actuarial requirements - is made.
"By making full Constitutionally-required and court-ordered pension payments we will ensure that our budget is realistic and that those who have retired receive the benefits that they worked for," said Davidsmeyer.
The other three budgetary reform policies in the Taxpayer's Fiscal Charter are Pay As You Go, a prohibition on unfunded mandates and a sunshine clause for future budgets.
"Lawmakers who file legislation which creates new spending will also be required to file an amendment that identifies a revenue source to pay for the spending or cuts spending for a current program to fund the new one," Davidsmeyer said. "The Charter prohibits unfunded mandates from being passed onto school districts and local governments. If the mandate is good enough for the General Assembly to pass it, then it is good enough to be fully-funded."
Finally, Davidsmeyer's legislation requires a 72-hour online posting of the General Assembly's proposed new fiscal year budget prior to passage.
"No more backroom deals when it comes to spending taxpayers' money. The Charter shines sunlights on the budget-making process by require a 72-hour public posting before a vote can be taken. Most budgets passed in Springfield are negotiated in the backroom by powerful insiders then rushed to the House Floor for a vote with no public notice. My legislation will provide transparency by requiring the proposed budget to be posted online at least three days prior to passage,"said Davidsmeyer.