- Governor Rauner has called the Illinois House and Senate into special session today, Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30, and potentially beyond
- The U.S. House and Senate are in session today, Monday, June 26, to Friday, June 30
Top Questions Answered
Q. We are several days into special session, but Madigan seems to be running out the clock by refusing to pass a balanced budget with reforms. What is he doing?
A. The past several days, Madigan, Cullerton, and majority Democrats were quick to let down Illinois. While the House and Senate did convene a special session as requested by Governor Rauner, they quickly gaveled in and gaveled out, turning their attention to trivial legislative matters and engaging in stall tactics. Madigan used a time-old tactic, the Committee of the Whole, to slow down the debate over reforms and rehash his tired talking points. Madigan’s goal? To run out the clock, force a crisis, and just do a massive tax hike to balance the budget. While Madigan stalls, the consequences of his obstruction are very real.
Q. What are the consequences of Madigan’s obstruction?
A. If Madigan’s majority fails to act by the end of June:
- Illinois bonds may be downgraded to junk status, an historic first for the United States
- Infrastructure projects grind to a halt, costing Illinois over 20,000 jobs and increasing travel and commute times
- Schools may not open on time this fall
- Unfunded pension debt will continue to skyrocket towards the $150 billion mark
- Jobs and families will continue to flee due to the highest-in-the-nation property taxes
- Deficit spending will remain on autopilot, pushing the unpaid bill backlog closer to $20 billion and risking the closure of more social service providers
Madigan has caused enough devastation for the people of Illinois – it’s time for majority Democrats to do their job and send Governor Rauner a balanced budget and reform plan to sign into law before June 30th. Time is ticking and the people of Illinois can wait no longer.
Q. How are Republicans responding to Madigan’s obstruction?
A. While Madigan and his Democrats continue to stall and run out the clock, Republican leaders stand ready to negotiate on their compromise balanced budget and reform plan. The Republican plan calls for:
- A truly balanced budget with over $5 billion in spending cuts and a hard, four-year, $36 billion cap on state spending
- Real property tax relief that freezes property tax levies for four years and allows voters to raise or lower their property taxes via a simple referendum process
- Job-creating reforms like changes to our workers’ compensation regulations
- Consolidation of local units of government by empowering citizens via a simple referendum process
- Education funding reform by merging proposed Democrat and Republican changes to the school funding formula
- Term limits on all statewide constitutional officers and the four legislative leaders
- Democrat-proposed, constitutional pension reform
All elements in the Republican balanced budget plan includes elements of Democrat lawmakers’ own budget proposal, making it a true compromise. The Republican plan does include the Senate Democrat revenue proposal, but Republican lawmakers are only willing to consider new revenues if and only if the budget package includes real and significant cuts in spending along with major, transformational reforms to state government, as outlined in the Republican compromise balanced budget plan. If Democrats want to do a tax increase, Republican votes are required in the General Assembly. Therefore, Democrat lawmakers must be serious about including real cuts to spending and major reforms.
The Republican plan makes sure our budget stays balanced for years to come and sets us on a path to create jobs and restore faith in state government which is why Governor Rauner also supports this plan. It’s time for Democrat lawmakers to quit stalling and work with Republicans to pass a compromise balanced budget and reform plan before Madigan causes further damage to Illinois.
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