Gov. Bruce Rauner’s third annual budget address on Feb. 15 underscored the urgency to pass a balanced state budget with reforms that will ensure sustainable future budgets and job growth, said State Sen. Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles).
“I was encouraged by the Governor’s message today, and buoyed by his support of the budget framework that we’ve been working on in the Senate. The Governor laid out his vision, and with his leadership it’s time for us, the General Assembly, to go and do our jobs,” said McConnaughay. “We received a strong nod from Governor in support of the momentum the Senate has built over the last several weeks, as we continue to work on a balanced budget and the reforms needed to grow the economy and once again become a destination for families and job creators. There are tremendous challenges facing us, but it’s our responsibility to take the direction the Governor has given us and move forward.”
Sen. McConnaughay said she was particularly pleased to hear Gov. Rauner’s strong stance on a permanent property tax freeze to balance out potential increases in the income tax rate.
“The Governor recognizes the challenges facing homeowners in not only our region, but many communities across Illinois who are staggering under the burden of sky-high property taxes. If we’re discussing the need for increased revenues, it’s imperative that we take into account these costs and take action to mitigate that burden,” McConnaughay noted.
However, when considering structural reforms, McConnaughay said she agrees with the Governor’s opposition of proposals that tax food and drugs or retirement income.
“Many proposals have been put on the table for discussion; however, I will not support proposals to tax retirement income, or to increase sales taxes on foods or drugs,” McConnaughay said. “These types of regressive taxes place a disproportionate burden on the senior community as well as those living on a fixed income. I believe there are better options out there that would pose less of a hardship to Illinois residents.”