IN THIS ISSUE:
GOVERNOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS
Illinois has gone nearly two years without a state budget. The result has been several downgrades of the state’s bond rating, spending, as a result of court orders, that exceeds revenues, unpaid bills that grow at the rate of $11 million per day, some state vendors not getting paid, etc. Against this backdrop, on Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his third annual Budget Address.
As he did a few weeks ago during his State of the State speech, the Governor struck an optimistic tone about the future possibilities of Illinois noting the state’s many strengths if we make the reforms necessary to be competitive – a focal point of his speech. According to the Governor, if Illinois had been more competitive over the last six years, 540,000 fewer residents would have left the state. If our economy had grown at the national average since 2000, we would have had 650,000 more jobs and an $8.5 billion surplus.
Among the reforms the Governor wants to see in any budget deal, he called out workers’ compensation reform and a permanent property tax freeze as essential reforms as well as term limits and redistricting. The Governor also called for a hard cap on spending to try and force government to live within its means.