SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Senator Christine J. Johnson (R-Shabbona) stood with the Senate Republican Caucus on Thursday to introduce more than $5 billion in spending reductions and cuts to the state’s budget, saying such an act of tough discipline was crucial to keeping Illinois from falling into a fiscal black hole.
“Illinoisans know that several things cannot continue: the 67-percent income tax increase, the out-of-control spending, the growing deficit year-to-year and Springfield’s resistance to tightening its budget belt and reducing spending,” Sen. Johnson said. “This plan today puts an end to all of those bad habits and can set us on the path to financial recovery to grow business and pay our bills on time.”
Sen. Johnson pointed to the future $22.6 billion deficit Illinois faces in just five years, which could create a financial environment to make the current “temporary” income tax permanent – a scenario the state should avoid in order to grow the economy and attract businesses to create jobs.
“These $5 billion in reductions and cuts represent a delicate balance between maintaining crucial government services and reforming our budget to give us the financial breathing room to let the largest tax increase in Illinois history expire,” Sen. Johnson said. “For those who disagree with portions of our proposal, I welcome the chance to meet with them to discuss alternatives that can help bring the state back to good footing.”
Still, several options to balance the state’s finances remained non-negotiable, Sen. Johnson said, including more tax hikes, more borrowing and using overly-generous revenue estimates to rationalize higher spending.
“We can’t keep using old tricks and stale ideas anymore to pretend the budget is balanced,” Sen. Johnson said. “We’re taking the initiative to say real solutions exist and we’re willing to be a part of those tough choices.”
To learn more about the proposal, please visit http://illinoisrealitycheck.com/
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