Springfield, IL… Today, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) issued the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s Budget Address:
“Last year Governor Pritzker signed the largest state budget in history. He clearly has no intention to slow down state spending. Despite asking his agencies last fall to prepare for possible budget reductions, the governor offered nothing meaningful.
Governor Pritzker said wishful thinking will not wave away Illinois’ structural budget problems. Yet most of his address offered promises Illinois can give more “free” stuff to his favorite constituencies, as long as we increase taxes. An analysis from Kiplinger released just days ago confirmed what I’ve heard over and over again from our district residents – that Illinois is the least tax friendly state. They are tapped out, and want the state to learn to do more with the plenty they already give.
The Governor complained that prior years’ budget failures kept the state from functioning. But his new budget threatens to withhold funding for nursing homes, Medicare, parks, education, and a whole host of programs, unless his graduated income tax passes. That is unconscionable. A budget shouldn’t be a de facto bribe to Illinois taxpayers to change their constitution. Nor should wages for elderly caregivers be held hostage like this. He should offer Illinoisans an honest way to live within our existing means.
Fundamentally, it’s irresponsible to craft a budget based on the assumption that Illinoisans support more taxes. Illinois has $137 billion in growing pension liabilities, $7.3 billion in current unpaid bills, and the 2nd highest property taxes in the nation. The Governor’s speech sounded more like a second State of a State than an actual budget address. It was full of platitudes, storytelling, and flowery language. But, to fix our massive fiscal mess will take big ideas and hard decisions, none of which we’ve heard from the Governor.”