Pritzker's budget plan provides path forward
Governor Pritzker’s budget plan for the 2022 fiscal year provides Illinois with a path forward. While we will need to review all the details in greater depth before taking a position on this plan, it appears to maintain vital services, continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and meets the state’s pension obligations. In addition, we're pleased to note that the governor has rejected the calls from some quarters to place an unfair burden on state employees in addressing the state’s fiscal challenges.
Illinois faces steep budgetary challenges for two reasons: the defeat of the Fair Tax constitutional amendment—which would have allowed higher tax rates for the wealthy—and the devastation of the COVID pandemic that has battered every state.
To overcome these challenges, everyone must do their part.
For big corporations, the time for tax loopholes is over. We strongly support Governor Pritzker’s call to end these unfair special deals. Profitable corporations should not get tax giveaways when so many working people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills.
For Congress, significant COVID relief to states is long overdue. Approve the American Rescue Plan that President Biden has put forward.
For Illinois legislators, consider additional revenue measures. Ideas already employed by neighboring states can help stabilize our state’s finances.
For our union, AFSCME members in the public service will continue to serve their communities as they have throughout the pandemic, despite the risk to themselves and their families. We stand ready to work with the governor’s office to find efficiencies and innovative approaches that can save money in state operations.
Finally, for Republican leaders who worked to defeat the Fair Tax, it’s time to accept responsibility. The depth of the budget shortfall stems from their crusade to defeat the Fair Tax amendment, yet for months they have offered nothing but empty criticism combined with periodic calls to cut the pay of state workers. Now they oppose ending loopholes for big business, without putting forward a single, sensible alternative to help close the state’s budget gap.