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Central Illinois lawmakers react to Pritzker's budget address
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Central Illinois lawmakers react to Pritzker's budget address

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Central Illinois lawmakers offered their reactions to Gov. JB Pritzker's budget address Wednesday. Here's what they had to say about the governors $41.6 billion spending plan:

Darren Bailey (copy)


State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia: “I sat for 30+ minutes today and I listened to a governor who is completely out of touch with the state and with the people. I listened to a grown man whine, complain and blame absolutely everything past and present except himself and his own party as to the woes and the demise of the state of Illinois. This budget remains at least $1.7 billion dollars out of whack and this budget has several provisions that he claims as corporate loopholes that are nothing but tax increases on business and job killers for the state.”

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Rose, Chapin


State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet: “Our state’s finances are a mess. Rather than reality, we got gimmicks dreamed up in an alternate universe than the one Illinoisans have to live in.  Who uses their Discover card to pay their Visa bill, anyway? That is what Governor Pritzker is doing with the current-year budget. And in the next budget year, removing the pension payment from the operating expenses of the state to pretend that operating expenses aren’t increasing – isn’t reality either. Nor is using $1.7 billion in assumptions that require federal or state legislative approval – this is the same junk that past governors of both parties have been roundly criticized for doing. Look, budgeting isn’t an easy job, and I don’t envy his position, but we can’t keep driving down the same broken road expecting better results."

Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville

“The one thing Democrats and Republicans should agree on is the severity of the financial problems facing our state and I think the Governor is acutely aware of the state financial issues but the budget he presented does not seem to acknowledge the financial realities of our state.

The Governor focused on all the new ways he is going to spend taxpayer money. I certainly agree that education funding and funding for MAP grants are important but how we pay for these cost increases is a vital question we really did not get answered today.

Of course, the Governor presented ideas such as recreational marijuana and legalized sports betting as ways to pay for all this spending, but none of these sources of revenue are even legal right now.

We are once again focusing on the wrong things when it comes to the state budget. I am all for prioritizing education and other worthwhile budget expenses but funding for these budget items should be based on money we have – not money we think we are going to get. For too long, our budget process has been based on fantasy numbers and not on real math and the end result has been disastrous.

There was little in his speech about ways to grow our economy or to lower the cost of government. Raising taxes is not going to grow our economy. Illinois lost 45,000 residents last year – the most by far of any Midwest state – and there is nothing the Governor said today that is going to make that number better. In fact, what he said today is only going to make that number worse. We needed vision and leadership and good ideas. Instead, all we got is more taxes and more spending. Very disappointing.”

State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville: “To be clear, there are tax increases in this budget. The governor is proposing a tax increase of nearly a billion dollars on the job creators in this great state. These vital business reforms were negotiated and agreed to with Republican support. Now the governor is kicking those reforms to the curb. It's time to get Illinois’ fiscal house in order. The house is on fire, the governor's boarding up the windows and doors, turning the fire department away all the while suggesting he has it all under control and there's nothing to see here.”

Candidate Forum 10/09/18 (4)

State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, takes part in a forum at LifeSpan Center near Loxa in October 2018. Miller and his wife U.S. Rep. Mary Miller have gotten national headlines in the past week. 

State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland: “Illinois’ finances are a sinking ship and instead of plugging the holes, the Governor is spending his time describing the drapes. The budget he introduced contains no meaningful reforms to fix the structural problems facing our state. It is the same quick fix gimmicks that have created Illinois’ financial problems in the first place.”


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