Attorneys from the Thomas More Society are appealing to the Illinois Supreme Court to stop a state law requiring taxpayer funding of abortions for Medicaid recipients. According to the December 17, 2018, filing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Illinois taxpayers, the funding for the law violates the state constitution’s balanced budget requirement. In September 2018, an appellate court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against the funding for the law, previously known as “House Bill 40.”
Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, stated, “The decisions of the lower courts effectively write our balanced budget requirement out of the Illinois Constitution. We’re asking the Illinois Supreme Court to interpret and enforce the constitution and protect taxpayers against future unbalanced budget spending, including the unfunded spending for elective abortions required by House Bill 40.”
Breen said that, while House Bill 40 was validly enacted, funding was not validly provided, and its effective date was improperly determined. The petition alleges several issues with the new law, including that House Bill 40:
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- Has not been legally funded, because the General Assembly has not made the estimate of available revenues to pay for the abortions, as required by the Illinois Constitution.
- Does not implicate the political question doctrine, a limited doctrine where courts decline to hear issues because of their politically character.
- Was passed after the deadline set for an early effective date by the Illinois Constitution and Effective Date of Laws Act.
Read background on HB 40 and the lawsuit against Illinois officials here