Rep. Friess Comments on Republican Budget Priorities

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie and Republican Budgeteers discussed their priorities for the Fiscal Year 2025 State Budget at a press conference in Leader McCombie’s Capitol office Thursday.

As the General Assembly begins a new legislative session and looks ahead to the Governor’s budget address this week, the Republican leaders wanted to set the stage for what they expect to be included in the upcoming FY25 budget proposal.

Leader McCombie outlined the House Republican priorities for the year:

-Holding the majority party accountable to spending

-No New Taxes – Illinois voters rejected a graduated income tax in 2020. We need to provide meaningful tax relief to Illinois residents.

-Tackling the State’s $141 billion pension debt

-Fixing state agency mismanagement and disfunction

-Meeting our prior fiscal obligations

-Real Ethics Reform – The federal corruption trials and convictions of the ComEd Four, former Madigan Chief of Staff Tim Mapes, former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, and the upcoming trial of former House Speaker Michael J. Madigan should instill action in the majority party to work with Republicans on meaningful ethics reform proposals.

-Properly funding education via the evidence-based model

-Prioritizing state services for Illinois citizens

“There’s no mincing words here: we need a sustainable, responsible budget that’s going to help turn around the ridiculous overspending,” Rep. Friess said. “I will do all that I can to ensure that conservative, Republican values are reflected in the FY25 budget.”

The Illinois State Budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (that will begin on July 1, 2024) will be a major challenge for the State. With spending already bumping up against the limits of current state revenue, the budget for the current FY24 fiscal year (ending June 30, 2024) is barely balanced at best. More accurate figures point to Illinois running a “hidden” current deficit of as much as $890 million, a gap met by slow-paying bills and by dipping into one-time cash sources. Furthermore, the nonpartisan Commission on Budget Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) is now seeing current declines in key State tax revenue streams such as the income tax. These facts are in front of Gov. Pritzker and his aides as they prepare the Governor’s budget address to be delivered to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 21. With Springfield spending already up to and matching current and potential future State revenues, Illinois cannot afford to add new spending programs for FY25.

House Republicans have taken the lead as they urge spending restraint. Illinois continues to have one of the lowest credit ratings of any of the 50 states, and charges along the highest per-capita tax loads. Illinoisans must pay property, income, and sales taxes to their State and local governments, and comparable government services cost more in Illinois than they do in most other U.S. states. At the same time, however, advocates and lobbyists continue to demand more money to be spent on existing programs, or to create new ones. These could quickly become voices for even higher Illinois tax rates, or for the creation of entirely new taxes. House Republican Leader Tony McCombie told the press that there should be no new Illinois taxes and no new spending programs.

Rep. Friess proudly serves the people of the 115th District.