MIKE TRYON ON BUDGETS AND TAXES
Rep. Tryon has a long history of being a champion for taxpayers. In fact, Rep. Tryon’s first bill in the IL House of Representatives was a bill that closed a loophole in the Illinois tax code which subsequently saved the taxpayers of the Huntley School District 158 millions of dollars. Well-respected for his financial knowledge, Rep. Tryon is known on both sides of the aisle as a fiscal conservative who speaks out against proposed tax increases, unbalanced budgets and irresponsible spending. He is one of three House Republicans chosen to serve on the 12-member, bipartisan, bi-chamber Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. COGFA is widely regarded as the most trusted source for realistic revenue and expenditure estimates for Illinois.
In 2010, Rep. Tryon introduced legislation to drastically reform the state budget process by making it more accurate, accountable and transparent. HB5212 and HJR112 aimed to require the State to adhere to the constitutionally-mandated balanced budget requirement. The bill, known as the Truth in Accounting Act, would have not only imposed a highly stringent set of accounting standards to the Illinois budgeting process, and would also have required a General Assembly vote to verify the validity of the budget numbers that were used. Unfortunately, House Speaker Madigan held these pieces of legislation in the Rules Committee and never scheduled them for hearings.
Rep. Tryon was outspoken in 2011 when the Democrat-controlled General Assembly approved the largest tax increase in Illinois history during a lame duck session. He was a “no” vote on that bill, and then sponsored bills to repeal it. He continues to be a voice for responsible budgeting in preparation of the tax increase’s phase–out period, which begins in 2015.
This year, Rep. Tryon is a co-sponsor of HJRCA32, a measure that would add teeth and close loopholes in the existing balanced budget requirement for Illinois. This legislation would accomplish the following:
- Within 30 days of enactment of a budget, the Auditor General’s Office would have to certify that the budget is indeed balanced. If the budget is deemed not balanced,
- The Comptroller would stop payment for the salary of General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers (Governor, etc.)
- The Comptroller would stop all payments other than those affecting public safety or that are required by federal law
- Within 10 days of the Auditor General declaring a budget is not balanced, the General Assembly must convene to address the shortfall. Upon passage of an updated budget the Auditor General must again certify that it is balanced before payments resume.
- If at any time during the year a budget becomes unbalanced, the Comptroller must alert the General Assembly and the Governor, triggering another review by the Auditor General and the steps mentioned above
Speaker Madigan has refused to schedule this legislation for a hearing and it is currently sitting in the House Rules Committee.
During his tenure in the House, Rep. Tryon has voted on many occasions to decrease his pay. Today he earns 8-10% less than he did when he was elected, and in addition, almost every year he has returned at least 10% of his local office budget money to the state.
Mike Tryon has never voted in favor of an unbalanced budget.