Would protect Road Fund, cap state spending, and provide better revenue estimates
In an effort to promote fiscal responsibility in the budget-making process, State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) introduced a package of bills, at the center of which caps state spending and eliminates diversions from the Road Fund.
Under McConchie’s set of proposals, state spending would be capped at 97 percent of what it is expected to take in. Also, his legislation would require the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) to provide quarterly revenue estimate reports to the General Assembly, instead of an annual one, giving legislators more accurate predictions.
“Implementing a 97 percent revenue cap for state spending ensures that the state isn’t spending more than it should, while also providing enough funds left over in case of emergency situations,” said Sen. McConchie.
McConchie’s proposal also addresses the improper use of the Road Fund—a tactic that is frequently used to help balance state budgets. In last year’s budget, the Regional Transportation Authority debt payments, which generally come out of the General Revenue Fund, came from the Road Fund instead.
“Even though voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 to provide a lockbox for transportation funds, legislators still found a way to continue to divert money away from transportation priorities,” said Sen. McConchie. “This diversion tactic decreased the amount of money available for our crumbling roads and bridges. The structural failure of a bridge on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive illustrates why such diversions are so problematic. It must stop.”
More on Sen. McConchie’s plan can be found in the following pieces of legislation: Senate Bill 1981, Senate Bill 1982, Senate Bill 1983, Senate Bill 1984, and Senate Bill 1985.