FILE - J.B. Pritzker, Springfield, Virus Outbreak Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Springfield, Ill.

(The Center Square) – State and federal lawmakers from some of Illinois’ neighboring states say taxpayers there, many of whom left Illinois, should not be on the hook for a federal bailout of the state’s budgetary mess.

On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he had told his agency heads to prepare for “nightmare scenario” cuts of 5% for the current fiscal year and 10% for the following one that begins next summer. 

The $43 billion budget Pritzker enacted for the current fiscal year appropriated more than the Legislature ever has and relies on billions of dollars in federal aid and the passage of a progressive income tax amendment in November.

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, joined Missouri state Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake St. Louis, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, and others for a call hosted by the Save our Country Coalition to warn against the ongoing negotiations in Washington D.C. that could result in federal dollars being funneled to states without spending restrictions. 

“It is a pleasure to be a neighbor to Illinois because we do benefit from a lot of their craziness,” Braun said. He also said he and other Republicans opposed “blue state bailouts.” 

Hill said his state has long-seen Illinois residents leaving for a better economic climate by crossing the Mississippi River. 

“We are a direct recipient of the bad policies of the state of Illinois,” he said. “The last thing I want to see for my constituents is a bailout of the state of Illinois. Their citizens are realizing that it has a negative impact on their livelihoods and they’re voting with their feet.”

Both Indiana and Missouri are net-receivers of interstate migration, meaning more Illinois residents move to those states than residents from those states move to Illinois.  

The coalition is backed by free-market nonprofits including the FreedomWorks Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, Americans for Prosperity and includes dozens of state and federal lawmakers. 

Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.