After two years of political games, Illinois needs a balanced budget, now.

The list of those who’ve been harmed by our legislative inaction is well known -- schools, colleges, social service provide, businesses, local governments, the list goes on. We must act and act now.

It’s clear what we can’t do: Continue making the same mistakes state government has made for decades. We cannot continue with our broken school funding formula that fails to provide for every student, regardless of zip code. We cannot continue to add to the $14 billion of unpaid bills. We cannot continue with unbalanced budgets. We cannot continue with policies that drive businesses and people out of the state.

Unfortunately, the Illinois House of Representatives is, so far, following that same failed course.

There was a glimpse of change as the Senate worked in a bipartisan, collaborative manner on a balanced budget alongside reforms. Instead, the tide has seemingly shifted and the majority party seems to be charging ahead with their own budget which relies heavily on tax increases without meaningful reforms to our broken system. This will only make our problems worse.

I will not support an unbalanced budget or one that demands hard-working Illinois families pay more in taxes without meaningful changes to the way state government does business.

Both parties must come together and find compromise and bipartisan solutions to the problems we are facing.  

We can get our state moving in the right direction again. We can balance our state budget and serve the most vulnerable. We can fund higher education and pay our bills on time. And, we can provide property tax relief and fix our education formula. We can do all these things if we are willing to stop the games and work together to get it done.

State Representative Avery Bourne, R-Raymond

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