As expected, Governor Pat Quinn’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal relied on $8.75 billion in borrowing to pay for what Senator Tim Bivins says is an $1.7 billion increase in state spending.
The $35.4 billion budget proposal would bring state spending to an all-time high, with planned spending exceeding anticipated revenues by almost $1.5 billion. The Governor’s own budget documents show Governor Quinn plans to divert approximately $1.5 billion of the borrowed money to finance the new spending, instead of using it to pay off state debt.
Senate Republicans are unanimously opposed to the Governor’s borrowing plan, which not only adds new obligations to the state’s ballooning debt, but also pushes off the bulk of the payments until Quinn’s term is over. Senator Bivins said the massive borrowing package is an enormous burden to place on taxpayers, particularly following the 67 percent state income tax increase recently signed by Governor Quinn, which Democrats passed without Republican support in the final hours of a lame-duck session January 12.
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