Rep. McSweeney says he will not accept a pay raise as part of Pritzker's new state budget
Republican state Rep. David McSweeney (Barrington Hills) leaves no doubt about where he stands on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s new $40 billion state spending plan and all the other legislation that accompanies it.
“I voted 'hell no' on the Pritzker budget and I will not accept a pay raise,” McSweeney told the Lake County Gazette. “We need to cut spending in Illinois. It is disgraceful that legislators doubled the gas tax and voted themselves a pay raise.”
Critics of the new budget like McSweeney argue that not only does it add costs but it also takes on more debt to make it happen, borrowing at least $1.2 billion to pay down the billions the state already owes in past due bills from vendors. As for spending, an additional $25 million has been added to the $350 million already spent on education, and an additional $50 million has been added to the budget of the Department of Children and Family Services.
“I’m fighting the insiders and working for taxpayers,” said McSweeney, who made little effort to hide his displeasure over a handful of House Republicans joining the Democratic majority to ram the new spending plan through. “Republican insiders teamed up with Democrats to support the Pritzker package.”
The new plan is slated to take effect with the start of the new budget year on July 1. The 2.4-percent cost-of-living pay raise lawmakers afforded themselves comes at a time when the cash-strapped state remains heavily in the red. While all 19 Senate Republicans opposed the measure, McSweeney was among the most vocal lawmakers to speak out.
"Illinois citizens are sick and tired of secret insider budget deals that enrich Springfield politicians at the expense of hardworking taxpayers who are getting hit with massive tax increases," he told the Daily Herald.