FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2009
Contact: John Bambenek 217-493-0760
Bruno Behrend 847 343-4250
Illinois citizen files suit to against Comptroller Dan Hynes
Cites spending taxpayer money without a balanced budget is unconstitutional
CHAMPAIGN - Today Illinois citizen and activist John Bambenek filed suit with the State Supreme Court to prevent Comptroller Dan Hynes from spending taxpayer dollars without a balanced budget as required by the Illinois Constitution.
“Essentially, the comptroller cannot spend money without legal authorization, and an unconstitutional budget is by definition not legal,” Bambenek said. “So we are enjoining him from spending until the problem is fixed.”
According to the Illinois Constitution, money paid out by the state must be equal with the money the state receives. The comptroller issued a report last week indicating that without changes to the current budget, the state will operate with a $9 billion deficit.
“The clause in the Constitution exists to prevent situations like this where the state finds itself in a fiscal crisis, and the blame for this rests on the General Assembly who has crafted the budget, and at times, has simply kicked [former] Governor Blagojevich out of budget negotiations,” Bambenek said.
The suit Bambenek filed would force the General Assembly to draft a solution to the budget crisis within 30 days of the ruling.
“Citizens have every right to enforce the requirements of their constitution that are clear, unambiguous and without debate,” Bambenek said. “A constitution, going all the way back to the Magna Carta, finds its entire purpose in restricting the power of government.”
Bambenek says the victims of the budget crisis are those who are currently on the state’s social programs, including those on Medicaid, drug treatment recipients, mental health treatment facilities and the indigent.
“Politicians should have the courage to inform the public their reasoning behind the need for increased taxes so that they can spend,” Bambenek said. “Budget deficits are merely deferred tax increases with interest that are foisted on the public at the worst possible time by politicians who claim that they have no choice, when really, they were irresponsible all along.”
John Bambenek is a political activist, writer and co-founder of the Illinois Citizens Coalition (ICC), a political action committee created to inform and organize Illinois citizens to take more of an interest in state government. For more information visit the ICC website at www.yesforillinois.com.