IL Gov. Rauner gives budget address - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL Gov. Rauner gives budget address

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his budget address at noon on Wednesday, February 15 before the Illinois General Assembly.

This was Gov. Rauner's third budget proposal. He outlined budget priorities for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Illinois's credit rating was recently downgraded in a report by Fitch Ratings.

Illinois already has the worst rating of any state.

There has been no state budget since July 2015.

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery released the following statement in response to the governor:

"The State Constitution requires the Governor submit a balanced budget proposal to the general assembly and today Bruce Rauner failed the people of Illinois once again. The Governor again repeated his list of political demands, which is no substitute for an actual budget that will fund vital state services.

"The only promise the Governor has kept is that he would create a crisis in Illinois, which he has accomplished by refusing to pass a balanced budget. Social services are turning people away and young people are abandoning their dreams because they have no access to college due to his cuts to student aid. Rauner the candidate explained this would be part of his plan if elected.  Every day we go without a budget, the state is burning $2 million in late fees, money that should be used to fund our schools and services.

"Imagine what Illinois could look like with real leadership -- a state where millionaires and corporations pay their fair share, where our public schools are funded adequately and equitably, where our colleges and universities thrive. This is not be possible with a Governor who puts his agenda before the needs of the people of Illinois."

Illinois Police Institute CEO John Tillman also released a statement. He said, in part:

“Gov. Rauner is right that Illinois needs structural reforms to become attractive to job creators and residents. The so-called ‘grand bargain’ that has been talked about does not do this.

“The proposal that has been worked on by state Sens. John Cullerton and Christine Radogno would raise taxes without any meaningful pension reform, property tax relief, or promise to put Illinois on a better economic path going forward. It is unfair to all Illinois residents, but unfortunately the state’s most vulnerable will be hit the hardest.

“We know what happens when the state raises taxes without making structural reforms. In 2011, former Gov. Pat Quinn raised taxes without reforming spending. Every household paid thousands of dollars in higher taxes, and the state collected $31 billion in additional revenue. Where did that $31 billion go? It didn’t go toward repairing our economy or erasing the backlog of unpaid bills. It did nothing to fund programs for the poor. Most of that money went to highly paid government workers."

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association responded to the budget address:

"The canaries in the coal mine are dying.  Rating agencies have been warning leaders on both sides of the aisle for years about the spiraling debt and need for fiscal stability, including the most recent announcements.  The IMA has continually shined a spotlight on the horrific job losses manufacturers have suffered over the last decade including nearly 11,000 good, high-paying manufacturing jobs last year alone. The manufacturing sector in Illinois cannot afford further inaction resulting in the continued loss of the middle class. Manufacturers employ 568,000 workers and contribute the single largest share of the state's economy.  When manufacturing is strong, Illinois and America are strong.

"The IMA believes a final budget solution must address the root of the state's problems with structural reforms addressing our pension obligations and debt while restoring fiscal discipline and enacting real reforms that will create a vibrant business climate by attracting jobs and investments.  Illinois must address the high cost of workers' compensation, burdensome labor regulations, and reform the tax code to encourage manufacturing production.  However, as leaders consider revenue enhancements, we strongly believe that the best tax structures are broad-based with low rates and should not single out an individual sector.

"We applaud Governor Rauner for introducing a balanced budget today focusing on the future and the Senate for demonstrating leadership in recent weeks. The time for action is now."

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