GOP, Dems at Odds on Pritzker’s Budget

J.B. Pritzker, campaign event, Pritzker's budget
Candidate J.B. Pritzker speaks at a campaign event in Hazel Crest in August 2018. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- It should come as no surprise that Republicans and Democrats find themselves on opposite sides following Governor Pritzker’s budget address this week.

House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) said Wednesday, “The Governor’s budget today shows the true need for bipartisan solutions to fix Illinois’ many fiscal challenges. We cannot tax, borrow and spend our way out of this deficit as the governor has proposed. Illinois families deserve a focus on reform, including our out-of-control pension costs and sky high property taxes, and not a penny more in new taxes or fees. My caucus is prepared to work with the Governor on crafting a balanced budget that reflects our priorities and moves Illinois forward.”

House Speaker Michael Madigan had high praise for Governor Pritzker’s budget proposals, “After four years of unprecedented crisis, we are still uncovering the extent of the damage to our state’s budget. Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis has left us with billions of dollars in unpaid bills, frayed our social service infrastructure, and squandered $1 billion on late payment penalties instead of funding our schools, health care and critical human services. Without the efforts of House Democrats and some rank-and-file Republicans who worked together to make tough decisions and end Rauner’s crisis, the damage would have been even worse.

“Amid the challenges we heard spelled out today, we also heard that we now have a governor who recognizes the magnitude of these challenges and will work with us to address them. House Democrats stand ready to work with Governor Pritzker and our Republican colleagues, bring all options to the table for honest negotiation, make the tough decisions, continue to stand strong and protect critical human services and quality schools, and move Illinois forward.”

Rep. Durkin Friday also released a statement against the proposed Progressive Tax, “My caucus is united in its opposition to the Democrats’ tax increase on Illinois families and employers. Higher taxes won’t solve our problems, nor have they ever as history has shown. Higher taxes only lead to more spending and more government programs. Until our state learns to live within its means, we should not ask for another penny from Illinois families, workers and businesses.”

A progressive income tax would require amending the Illinois Constitution. Governor J.B. Pritzker on Friday called for the General Assembly “to approve a graduated income tax before it adjourns in May — with both a constitutional amendment to put before voters and companion legislation setting forth the new tax rates,” the Sun-Times reports.