The truth about the Illinois balanced budget
For two years, Governor Rauner refused to agree to a state budget unless lawmakers first enacted his demands that would hurt working people, like taking away your freedom to form strong unions and making it harder to get medical care if you're injured on the job.
Now that lawmakers rejected Rauner's hostage tactics and overrode his budget veto, he's spreading misinformation about the balanced plan that Democrats and Republicans alike approved. Here are the facts, compiled by Illinois Working Together:
2017 Bipartisan Balanced Budget
THE RAUNER CRISIS HAS HURT THE PEOPLE OF ILLINOIS AND PUSHED OUR STATE TO THE BRINK OF FINANCIAL COLLAPSE
• Because Gov. Rauner refuses to do his job, our state is in shambles. The Rauner Crisis has tripled our bill backlog to $15 billion while taxpayers must pay more than $800 million in late payment interest penalties. K-12 schools are owed $850 million, 30,000 fewer children are receiving child care, services for seniors have been slashed, public universities have been cut to the bone, and jobs are fleeing the economic uncertainty.
• Rauner’s Illinois teeters on the edge of becoming the first state in history to hit junk bond status, which would force even more taxpayer money to be used for interest payments instead of state services. Rauner himself called Illinois’ credit downgrades “unacceptable” when he was running for office. [Twitter, 6/3/13]
• Chaos was Rauner’s plan from the start, It was Rauner who said "Crisis creates opportunity. Crisis creates leverage to change … and we've got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change.” [Chicago Tribune, 4/6/15]
• The only thing Rauner has done is say no. No to compromise, no to finding solutions, and no to moving the state forward. Rauner has sacrificed the well-being of the state for his own political agenda that would have done little or nothing to help the economy. In the end, Rauner was rejected by his fellow Republicans. More than two years of suffering, and for what?
WITH RAUNER REFUSING TO DO HIS JOB, BIPARTISAN MAJORITIES OF RANK-AND-FILE LEGISLATORS STEPPED UP TO BALANCE THE BUDGET
• The bipartisan balanced budget, which spends less than Rauner’s unbalanced spending plan, rescues Illinois from the brink financial collapse. This plan funds our schools, provides care for seniors, and gives stability that businesses need to invest in Illinois.
• Lawmakers of both parties have done what Rauner has failed to do in two years: balance the budget. They did it through a combination of $3 billion in spending cuts and changing the income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95% — an increase of 1.2%. The new rate is still lower than it was before Rauner and lower than neighboring states.
• This plan isn’t perfect, but it is a first step to stop the bleeding – and it’s better than this year’s $6.2 billion deficit. It may take years to recover from the Rauner Crisis.
RAUNER STILL REFUSES TO ASK THE WEALTHIEST TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE
• Most of Illinois’ neighbors have fair tax structures in which rich people with higher incomes pay higher rates, and working people with lower incomes pay lower rates.
• Rauner refuses to ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share. Rauner - who made $90,000 an hour last year - opposes changing Illinois’ unfair income tax system that gives big breaks to millionaires and billionaires like him.
ILLINOIS REMAINS A LOW-TAX STATE -- AND A LOW-SPENDING STATE, TOO.