Luechtefeld, Schimpf call on Madigan to put end to budget impasse following Rauner address
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his fiscal year 2017 budget address Wednesday afternoon from the State Capitol, emphasizing how devastating the budget stalemate has been to the state and reiterating that a tax hike will not solve Illinois’ financial crisis.
The budget impasse dates back to July 1, when the Republican governor vetoed a spending plan sent to him by the Democrat-controlled legislature, resulting in painful budget cuts to many services across the state. Illinois has been operating without a budget since.
During his address, Rauner told legislators to stop sending him spending plans that will be vetoed and that more jobs will translate to more people working, and, ultimately, lead to more residents paying taxes.
State Senate District 58 Republican candidate Paul Schimpf said he believes the governor’s address was concise and straightforward.
“I thought that Gov. Rauner laid things out fairly clearly,” Schimpf said. “We know what needs to be done and the people of Illinois expect our leaders to compromise. I thought Gov. Rauner set forth exactly what needs to happen. It’s up to (House) Speaker (Michael) Madigan and (Senate) President (John) Cullerton to join him in moving our state forward.”
Rauner urged legislators to pass Cullerton’s bill that would solve the pension crisis in Illinois by giving workers a choice in retirement benefits in an effort to shrink Illinois’ $111 billion unfunded pension liability.
State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) said after Rauner’s address that it is up to Madigan to accept the options the governor laid out.
"The governor offered two choices to Speaker Michael Madigan – either give the administration the flexibility to make the cuts necessary to help balance the budget or work on some compromises to expand the economy, which brings with it more jobs and more people contributing to the state’s revenues,” Luechtefeld said.
Luechtefeld said the lack of compromise is indicative of something more than just politics.
“The governor is more than ready to compromise, but Speaker Madigan appears to be dug in and looking to teach the governor a lesson,” Luechtefeld said.
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