SPRINGFIELD—Today Governor JB Pritzker gave his annual budget address virtually to the 102nd General Assembly. State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) released the following statement in response:
“Governor Pritzker has repeatedly tried to balance our budget on hypotheticals. We need to face the reality of our fiscal situation here in Illinois, which unfortunately, was not the sentiment we heard today in the Governor’s address. The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating, and we can’t hide the impact it’s had on our own state revenue picture.
“Economic recovery is an essential building block toward fiscal certainty – to keeping jobs here and growing our economy. One way we can do that is by implementing the several business reforms that were agreed upon in 2019. Instead, today the Governor revealed his intention to go back on his word and not only exclude those reforms, but hit small businesses with a $900 million tax increase. Our business community here in Illinois is vital to our economic turnaround. Raising taxes on the backs of businesses who have already struggled to survive this pandemic, isn’t the answer.
“By law, the budget is supposed to be balanced. This last year was a challenge, but it is one we can learn from. For starters, the executive rule by which the Pritzker Administration has governed by cannot continue. It sidelined the legislature, crippled the business community and skyrocketed unemployment. In short, the legislature needs to be involved as we take this budget proposal as just that: a starting point. We owe it to the people of Illinois to take on this process in a bipartisan, transparent way. As it stands this proposal is out of balance by $1.653 billion. Let’s work on the reality of our situation and not rely on fantasy tax increases or federal government bailouts.”
Click here for a list of the business reforms House Republicans negotiated with Governor Pritzker in 2019.