After months of negotiation to pass fundamental changes needed to turn around Illinois, Republican lawmakers are working to expand job opportunities, fix a corrupt political system and mend a failing state economy, while Democrat lawmakers are working to pass a budget that is $4 billion out of balance, according to Senator Chris Nybo.
“Governor Bruce Rauner and Republican lawmakers are offering a new approach to state government. We have been working long hours to come to a compromise – beginning with much-needed structural reforms to state government, but it now appears that Democrat leaders are moving forward with an unconstitutionally unbalanced spending plan,” Senator Nybo said. “The Democrats’ budget proposes more than $36 billion in spending, which falls $4 billion short of estimated revenues of $32 billion.”
Senator Nybo said the majority party wants to continue the fiscal policies of the 12 years that have led to the state’s current fiscal crisis.
“We need a budget that matches our revenues with our expenditures, which will likely require some severe cuts and painful choices. Such a process requires shared input and shared responsibility and accountability,” Senator Nybo said. “But now it seems that Democrat leaders are striking out on their own … turning from the negotiating table and adding billions more to Illinois’ debt.”
The Democrat budget proposal comes just days after Republican lawmakers introduced a major package of legislation (SB 884, SB 994, SB 1046, SJRCA 14, and SJRCA 15) that would implement Governor Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda. Those bills would:
• Freeze Illinois property taxes: currently the second highest of any state
o Supports local control: option to increase through local referendum
• Improve Illinois’ business climate: recently ranked third worst in the country
o Workers’ compensation reform
o Lawsuit reform
• Reform State Government: Illinois called “worst-run state in the country” last year
o Constitutional amendment establishing term limits for legislators and executive officeholders – Illinois would join 15 other states with term limits
o Redistricting reform – Constitutional amendment to create an independent commission for fair and balanced districts