Governor Rauner delivers budget address to General Assembly

Speaking to a joint session of the Illinois House and Senate on Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address, outlining his priorities and introducing his third balanced budget in as many years to be considered by lawmakers.

Saying “We must think anew and act anew,” the Governor presented a balanced budget that focuses on the future. It invests in Illinois’ future with record funding for education, transforms our pension system, and makes structural changes to improve our jobs climate.

At the request of senators from both parties, Governor Rauner outlined his parameters to the General Assembly on the Senate’s “grand bargain” compromise. He made it clear that the final product must be a good deal for taxpayers and job creators. Rauner laid the foundation for balanced budgets for years to come, controlling spending so government lives within its means, and enacting real spending reductions with meaningful pension reform.

Governor Rauner once again said he would consider new revenue if it accompanies changes to grow the economy. He asked legislators if they make an income tax increase permanent, the property tax freeze must also be permanent. Rauner also reminded the legislature that term limits are important to restoring confidence in state government and workers’ compensation reform is critical to attracting job creators to Illinois.

Responding to the Governor's address, Represntative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) said, “There were two critical points from the Governor’s speech which stood out most, economic growth needs to outpace government growth and the impact of regulations on job creation. His call for legislators to first consider whether or not a regulation will hinder job creation, and subsequently economic growth, must be kept in mind as the legislature considers his recommendations and seeks to craft a comprehensive, balanced budget. To make Illinois a better home for residents, with ample job opportunity and excellent schools, the legislature must recognize the ability for government to provide services is derived from our economic strength.”

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