This Week in Springfield – 100-04

IN THIS ISSUE:

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET ADDRESS
SUGAR

 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.

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This Week in Springfield – 100-03

IN THIS ISSUE:

STATE BUDGET & REFORMS
LEGISLATIVE INTRODUCTIONS
BUSINESS DAY

This Week in Springfield, the Senate ‘Grand Bargain’ hit a few speed bumps and lawmakers and advocates rushed to file legislation before the Friday filing deadline.

STATE BUDGET & REFORMS

As reported in TWIS in early January, Senate President John Cullerton (D- Chicago), Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R- Lemont) and some members of their respective leadership teams, have been attempting to craft a bi-partisan budgetary framework with the goal of trying to end the nearly two-year old budget impasse. Every day that passes, Illinois adds at least another $11 million in debt. If nothing is done by the end of 2018, the deficit would exceed $20 billion. IRMA and one other business group have been in constant communication with the leaders and their top staff. The engagement is designed to ensure that whatever is ultimately put forth truly solves the decades-old fiscal problems of the state and provides stability going forward while providing the reforms necessary to ensure employers of all sizes can prosper in Illinois. From the perspective of IRMA members, reforms must include restraint of local governments’ ability to continue to layer on seemingly endless and costly mandates in addition to never-ending tax and fee increases. Without this restraint, local governments can easily undo any positive action that may come out of Springfield.

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