Illinois’ constitution requires the state have a balanced budget. But numbers are easy to manipulate and disguise. Republicans in the Illinois House want to force the issue. They propose amending the constitution so that the state’s Auditor General would have to check budgets before they take effect. If the auditor finds the budget is not balanced, the state would freeze state payments and salaries until it is.
Representative Pam Roth, a Republican from Morris, says lawmakers should put their money where their mouths are, and stop using tricks to balance the budget.
“We cannot continue down this road. Not only will this balanced amendment force a solution, but this amendment increases the transparency of our government and provides an impartial evaluation,” Roth says.
Republicans’ plan may never go farther than the press conference they held to announce it. To even go on the ballot where voters would need to approve it, a constitutional amendment needs to pass both chambers of the General Assembly with super-majority votes. And the GOP’s in the super-minority in both the Illinois House and Senate.