Following Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address, State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) issued the following statement:
“Last fall, the Governor told state agencies to look for efficiencies and reductions to improve the cost-effectiveness and delivery of services – and it’s frustrating his budget proposal doesn’t seem to represent any of those scenarios. Instead, he is insinuating that if his graduated tax amendment doesn’t pass this November, he may withhold payment on a myriad of state services, such as group health insurance, K-12 and higher education funding, income tax refunds and transfers to local governments. Essentially holding our service providers, local governments, educational institutions and taxpayers hostage for his political agenda.
“Despite this flawed proposal, last year showed what we can accomplish when we work together, and the current and projected revenues show there is absolutely no need to increase taxes to balance the budget and meet service needs.
“Instead of constantly beating the drum of tax increases, I wish the Governor would focus on growing our economy, increasing job opportunities and reversing the trend of outmigration, particularly where it is most needed, here in downstate. The Governor likes to tout that he has been working hard to improve opportunities downstate, but the realities don’t match the words. Illinois’ outmigration has been felt most downstate, while the majority of opportunities have favored Chicago. Downstate has a wealth of resources to be our economic engine, but the Governor has to turn his talk into action to free up the potential of downstate. When that happens, the increased state revenues will follow.”