New Report: Lawmakers and Governor Rauner Can Avoid Cuts to Children, Families and Communities by Choosing Revenue

Springfield, IL –(ENEWSPF)–May 5, 2015.  A report released this morning by Voices for Illinois Children, a member of the Responsible Budget Coalition, demonstrates that Governor Rauner and lawmakers have an array of choices available in order to avoid cutting services for children with epilepsy and autism, police and fire protection, and in-home care for seniors and the disabled next year.

Joined by lawmakers and impacted families in the State Capitol in Springfield, authors of the report explained that policymakers can choose to avoid cuts to education and other services that are key to a strong economy by raising the revenue our state needs to pay its bills and maintain strategic investments in the current and future well-being of Illinois children, families, communities, and the economy.

“Governor Rauner and legislators are not helpless bystanders,” said David Lloyd, the Director of the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children. “They can choose revenue to avoid cuts that harm Illinois’ families, communities, and the economy.”

When lawmakers chose to let the income tax roll back in January, they created an over $6 billion budget hole in fiscal year 2016. To date, the Governor has proposed to close this massive gap solely by making damaging cuts to essential services that strengthen Illinois families, children, communities, and our economy—including child care and early intervention services, K-12 education, afterschool, transportation, and revenue-sharing with local governments. 

“If the goal is to create a stronger future for Illinois, the worst thing we can do is weaken the infrastructure of public services that a strong economy needs, like education, health care, transportation, and public safety,” explained Lloyd. “Relying on cuts to balance our budget jeopardizes the investments we’ve already made, and ruins the foundation for future prosperity.”

The report outlines a menu of revenue options available to policymakers, including reforms to personal income taxes, business taxes, sales taxes, and alcohol, nicotine, and sugary-beverage taxes.

“The Governor has argued that he must make cuts that damage our communities to balance the budget. This report debunks that myth,” said Lloyd. “The Governor and lawmakers have another choice: they can avoid cuts by choosing new revenue to protect the future of our state.”