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Historic Spending Reform heads to Governor’s Desk

Click to enlarge.SPRINGFIELD State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) sponsored legislation that will fundamentally reform the way the state spends and budgets taxpayer dollars. On Thursday evening, House Bill 5424 passed out of the Illinois General Assembly with bi-partisan support and now it awaits the signature of Governor Pat Quinn to become law.

"This is a critical first step to force state government to live within its means and not waste hard-earned taxpayers’ money," said Senator Kotowski. "It ends the reckless spending conduct of the past and brings some real, meaningful accountability to the budget-spending process. Taxpayers deserve nothing less."

This spending reform package is called Budgeting for Results. BFR starts by identifying available revenue and then it defines spending priorities, such as job creation, education, human services, transportation, and public safety. It then implements performance-based measurements for these priorities and encourages state agencies to find creative ways to meet these goals with limited resources.

Under this legislation line items, such as contract bids, must be evaluated at certain benchmark dates by the Illinois General Assembly before they are approved. This will prevent the state from taking on higher cost when revenue is not available.

This process also includes built-in accountability and transparency by requiring the governor to develop a state-wide reporting system comparing actual results with budgeted results. These measurements and results will then be posted on the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget web site for public viewing and evaluation.

Senator Kotowski worked closely with State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) and State Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) to pass this legislation. Moving forward Kotowski will continue to work with fellow legislators to implement BFR. Finance experts, business professionals and academics will also contribute to the planning commission that will make the transition to BFR.

"Illinois families deserve reforms like the one we passed this week," Kotowski said. "Budgeting based on performance establishes a solid framework to cut, eliminate, reform and fund agencies and programs based on impact, not politics and self-interest. Illinois families live by these principles everyday; now the state government will as well."

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