Originally Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2012, 12:59 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 23, 2012, 1:02 pm

Albracht: On state finances

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By Bill Albracht

Illinois is in crisis. Many years of financial mismanagement by my opponent and his cohorts in Springfield have left Illinois with a record backlog of unpaid bills, skyrocketing pension debt and the largest tax increase in our state's history. In order pay our bills and get Illinois back on the path to fiscal solvency we must get our budget under control.

We cannot solve Illinois' fiscal crisis by imposing job-killing tax increases on the people of this state, as my opponent and Gov. Pat Quinn have done. The only way we will get Illinois back on track is to spend within our means, and increase the efficient delivery of state services. Doing this creates an environment that fosters economic growth and spurs job creation. This is how we will get back on the path to fiscal prosperity.

I support the creation of a Sunshine Commission to look into every nook and cranny of the state budget for wasteful, duplicative and inefficient spending. Other proposals currently on the table, like combining the treasurer and comptrollers's offices, also would constitute significant savings.

Illinois' bloated budget contains many grants and special programs that our taxpayers know little to nothing about. A prime example of irresponsible state spending is the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. This program was funded at more than $57 million in the past two fiscal years but provides benefits only to the city of Chicago. Additionally, there are no specific guidelines on how this money is to be used, and no oversight on how it was spent. We need a comprehensive audit of state spending in order to increase accountability in state spending and identify poorly performing programs so that they can either be improved or eliminated.

As state senator for the 36th District, I will support solutions that will put people in our area back to work. I will work to reduce wasteful state spending and repeal the job killing 67 percent income tax increase placed on the families and job creators of this state.

Bill Albracht, of Moline, is the Republican candidate for Illinios Senate District 36.