IL governor raises prospect of tax hike in budget speech

Posted February 17, 2017

It would include a hard cap on state spending and incorporate revenue increases and reductions in expenditures to pay off the state's almost $12 billion in unpaid bills.

It'll be his third - delivered in IL government's 20th month without a complete budget. "Long-term pension reform needs to maximize savings in all pension systems", he added. He struck an upbeat tone, praising "real progress" the Senate had made in negotiating a compromise plan.

On Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools and five families of students filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state of IL.

Mr. Lundall also criticized Gov. Rauner for not working with the legislature unless it agrees to his turnaround agenda, which he said "would hurt all working families in our state".

But while the governor spoke against relying exclusively on tax hikes to balance the budget, demanded a permanent property tax freeze, and supported a strict spending cap, his proposal still falls short of providing the spending reforms necessary to avoid a tax hike altogether.

The Republican plan wouldn't expire at the end of the fiscal year, but it puts the governor's office and state agencies in charge of deciding how much money employees receive - authority that Democrats are not willing to give.

Rauner said he would not support an increase in taxes on groceries and medicines and urged lawmakers to consider a permanent property tax freeze to go along with a proposed permanent increase in the state income tax.

Rauner's fiscal 2018 general fund budget calls for $37.3 billion in spending but projects $32.7 billion in revenue, leaving $4.57 billion in unspecified cuts and revenue increases to be negotiated with the legislature.

Rauner shut the door on extending the income tax to cover retirement income.

Next year's election may already be weighing on the minds of IL lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner.

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But Rauner pointed out that more than 60 percent of the state's general revenue is "locked up".

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has slammed the administration's attempts to overhaul worker's compensation as too pro-business and harmful to workers.

But billions in damaging tax hikes in exchange for items such as term limits, for example, is a bad deal for Illinoisans.

Rauner paid a visit to the district on February 7, and while administrators and teachers were excited to have their school recognized, they also spoke out about the budget battles in Springfield.

Barickman thought Rauner showed leadership in a time they "desperately" needed it.

Rep. Halpin said the biggest problem is Gov. Rauner's insistence in doubling state workers' health care costs.

Rauner said after combining the state's unfunded pension liability, backlogged bills and other overspending, it's obvious the state's debt is out of control.

Brady was encouraged by what the governor had to say about higher education funding.

All the bills are tied together, requiring approval of the full package for any one bill to take effect.

Senate Republican Leader Radogno and Senate President John Cullerton are the architects of the bipartisan Senate package.