On Wednesday, February 18, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner presented his proposed FY2016 budget, which included approximately $4 billion in required cuts.
“The cuts contained in this budget are the result of 12 years of failed leadership from Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn. Last year’s budget was the most unbalanced in our state’s history,” said State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). “Governor Rauner is bound by the Illinois Constitution to create a budget that doesn’t spend more than the state takes in. This is what he is doing with this introduced budget.”
Senator Syverson noted that Governor Rauner is faced with both trying to fill billions in shortfalls in the current budget, while trying to craft a plan for next year.
“The Quinn budget passed last year was predicated on the temporary tax staying in place until June of this year, though even if the tax rate stayed level, the current budget would still have been unbalanced,” said Senator Syverson. “This unfortunately shows how irresponsible the spending has been.”
Governor Rauner’s budget proposal would actually increase funding for pre-k through 12 education, provide funding to repair crumbling state facilities, and increase the number of corrections officers. Rauner had pledged to reform the state budget before addressing any new revenue. The governor also discussed the importance of improving Illinois’ job climate.
“While you can’t tax your way into prosperity, you can grow your way there. If Illinois had just grown its economy at the same rate as our neighboring states, Illinois would have tens of thousands more people working today, generating significant dollars in state revenues,” said Senator Syverson. “Governor Rauner has laid out a plan that meets the reality of the financial condition our state is in. While painful, it has focused on supporting our state’s core services. But this is just the beginning of the process. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass a responsible, balanced budget plan on time this spring.”