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posted: 8/20/2011 5:00 AM

Panel needs to start work on spending goals

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Our state, like many others across the nation, is experiencing a struggling economy and an unwieldy budget deficit. This situation requires a daily mindset to find effective ways to limit excessive spending and pay off our debts.

Last year, I co-sponsored legislation that was signed into law creating what is known as Budgeting for Outcomes. This innovative measure requires our state to live within our means by setting a realistic revenue ceiling, making debt payments first, discussing the budget in a bipartisan legislative manner and holding agencies accountable for delivering results.

As part of this legislation, for FY13 the governor must convene a panel to advise him on the creation of statewide goals for next year's budget and conduct a minimum of two public hearings to elicit input from citizens on what they want their government to fund. To date, he has yet to do so, and I am calling on Gov. Quinn to immediately convene this necessary panel to begin its duty to help restore fiscal responsibility to Illinois.

The longer he delays the creation of this panel, the longer Illinois will suffer financially.

This law was specially designed to correct years of mismanagement and overspending, and we must act quickly before Illinois slips further into debt.

Carol Sente,

59th District State Representative