On Wednesday, February 17, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner presented two paths during his annual budget address, offering two alternatives to balancing the state budget.
“The Governor made it very simple, House Democrats need to choose whether they want to help him make massive cuts, or they can work together to make some changes to improve Illinois’ job climate to stop the outmigration of jobs. If they can agree to fixing the job climate, the Governor along with a number of Republicans would support putting the temporary tax back on until our state’s economy fully recovers" said State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). “As bad as it is right now, we are really only a few tough decisions away from turning everything around.” Governor Rauner made it clear that he and all Republican lawmakers remain committed to negotiating fair proposals to provide structural fixes to the issues that have grown the state’s budget deficit and driven out jobs.
“Last year Democrats rejected any attempt at compromise, rammed through an unbalanced budget, then refused to raise revenue to pay for it. This is what led us to our current budget crisis,” said Senator Syverson. “Illinois can’t survive another year like 2015. It’s time for the leaders of both parties to work together to get Illinois moving forward.”
Rauner’s preferred budget proposal would combine reforms with increased revenue, and provide record funding for education, including $4.8 billion more for K-12 and $55 million more for early childhood education.
“If we don’t stop the outmigration of jobs and families, then nothing we do will solve the economic challenges we face.” said Senator Syverson. “But if we can enact some of the simple job reforms similar to that our neighboring states have adopted, we can put Illinois on a solid foundation to allow continued growth for our children and grandchildren."