In an unprecedented budget address, Governor Rauner has given us the necessary push for the General Assembly to do its job and legislate for the betterment of this state and its future.
The governor didn’t mince words; he admitted it was unacceptable that we are in our 8th month without a budget and called out the poor fiscal policies of the past decades. The state has been in a downward spiral, partially because of the refusal to accept that no decision we make in state government has just a one-year impact. He again pushed back against the myth that structural reforms have nothing to do with our budget. The decisions we make this year will have a profound effect on our finances and on our residents for years to come. We can either work together and compromise on a comprehensive approach to legislate for the next generation or we can abdicate our responsibility to craft a budget by granting the Governor the power to make spending the necessary cuts to balance the budget. No one wants to see this state further fail our most vulnerable with more cuts.
The Governor made it clear that he is ready to act; it’s now up to the General Assembly and Speaker Madigan to move forward on this. I along with many of my colleagues stand ready to compromise and push ahead. The Governor has made it clear with the two options he presented that he is serious in his efforts to balance the budget. We in the General Assembly owe it to the State Constitution and the people of Illinois to do the same.