Senator Jim Oberweis released the following statement after Governor J. B. Pritzker delivered his first Budget Address February 20 to a joint session of legislators in the House of Representatives.
“The annual Budget Address is a starting point for budget negotiations for the next fiscal year. The Governor is a very good speaker but he has to deal with a very tough set of facts. Any spending plan will have its supporters and its opponents, but after years of political gamesmanship by the House Speaker, we need a new approach. To succeed, we need good-faith negotiations,” Senator Oberweis said.
“Governor Pritzker has said he is willing to negotiate, ready to listen. This is his chance to prove it, because on its face, his budget plan will need some changes that require compromise,” Senator Oberweis said. “Right now, his plan calls for almost a billion dollars in new taxes and new revenue sources that many people do not support, almost a billion dollars in new spending, $2 billion in new borrowing, and a further deferral of about $800 million in required pension payments. He did not listen to our concerns on the minimum wage bill. In fact, in his speech he said, ‘The minimum-wage job is a lifetime ticket to poverty.’ But what that overlooks is that minimum-wage jobs are entry-level jobs so that workers can learn new skills and move on to higher-paying jobs. It is our hope that he will keep his promise and reach out to us, and listen to our ideas on this and other important issues. The residents of Illinois deserve no less.”
As the legislative budget process gets under way, Senator Oberweis says he stands ready to work with his fellow lawmakers to make the tough decisions necessary to pass a balanced budget with structural reforms that will boost the economy and jobs.
Fiscal Year 2020 runs from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.