Lawmakers, state workers react to budget legislation passing the House

(Photojournalist Jon Jenkins)

Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Sunday:

“Today, Democrats and Republicans stood together to take a crucial step toward reaching a compromise that ends the budget crisis by passing a fully funded state budget in a bipartisan way. While none could say this was an easy decision, it was the right decision; it’s clear that a budget package that cuts billions of dollars in state spending and also provides new revenue is the only path forward. I’m grateful legislators worked together to provide for our schools, protect medical care for the frail elderly, services for survivors of domestic abuse and others in great need.
“There is more work to be done, and we will continue working with Republicans to ensure the issues still on the table are fully resolved.”

Republican Leader Jim Durkin releasing this statement Sunday in response to the budget bills passing in the House:

“You have all heard the following statement: ‘it’s Déjà vu all over again.’ It has never been more true than today. What transpired is a repeat of the Illinois Democrats infamous temporary tax of 2011, with the only difference being today’s tax increase is permanent - yes, permanent. These votes confirm that the Illinois Democrats will never accept change and are only interested in the status quo – the status quo that placed Illinois in this squalid condition. The fight for Illinois families, workers and employers is not over.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner Sunday issued the following statement following the House of Representative's passage of a 32 percent income tax hike without any reforms to grow the economy, create jobs, or provide property tax relief:

“When I took office, I promised the taxpayers of Illinois that I would fight every day to take this state in a new direction after decades of failed leadership from both parties. Today, Springfield has decided to give the people of Illinois the largest tax hike in history and continue out of balance budgets with no real reform.
"Under Speaker Madigan’s direction, legislators chose to double down on higher taxes while protecting the special interests and refusing to reform the status quo. It’s a repeat of the failed policies that created this financial crisis and caused jobs and taxpayers to flee.
"I will veto Mike Madigan’s permanent 32 percent tax hike. Illinois families don’t deserve to have more of their hard-earned money taken from them when the legislature has done little to restore confidence in government or grow jobs. Illinois families deserve more jobs, property tax relief and term limits. But tonight they got more of the same.
"For two and a half years we have been working to find common ground on a balanced budget. As recently as two days ago we believed that was possible.
"The legislature could have passed a no reform budget like this one two years ago. Instead, they allowed Mike Madigan to play his political games, passed phony budgets, racked up our debt and inflicted pain on the most vulnerable. All of this to force a permanent, 32 percent tax increase on Illinois families.
"Moving forward, this vote shows that if the legislature is willing to pass the largest tax hike in state history with no reforms, then we must engage citizens and redouble our efforts to change the state. "

Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s statement on Sunday’s budget votes in the state House of Representatives:

"I want to thank all the members of the Illinois House of Representatives who courageously voted to step back from the fiscal disaster of the last two years and to take back their constitutional power of appropriation. In particular I want to thank the 15 Republican profiles in courage who were true heroes today, standing up for the people of Illinois and not for a Party of One.
"We still have a long road ahead to a comprehensive budget plan to pay down our $15 billion backlog of unpaid bills that has tripled in the two years since Governor Rauner took office. I am disheartened but not surprised that he, as a Party of One, has announced that he will veto the bill. I hope that all the legislators who showed true courage on Sunday’s tough votes stay strong and steadfast in overriding his irresponsible veto.
"Sunday’s vote sends a strong message to the financial markets that Illinois is serious about getting its fiscal house in order. I strongly encourage Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate to likewise forge ahead working together. Our office will continue working with members of the General Assembly to help in whatever capacity we can. When we come together in a bipartisan fashion, great things are possible for the state. Let’s keep this positive momentum going."

Daniel Biss released the following statement in response to Governor Rauner's veto threat of SB9:

"Yet again, Governor Rauner is rewriting history -- and conveniently leaving out his own role in the making of the worst financial crisis this state has ever seen. Tonight we saw legislators making the hard choices necessary to save our state. They did so in a bipartisan fashion, even after Governor Rauner did everything he could to torpedo this compromise, continuing to put politics over the people he claims to represent.
"A leader without followers is just someone taking a walk. I encourage Governor Rauner to keep walking."

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider released the following statement after the Illinois House of Representatives passed Speaker Mike Madigan's permanent 32% tax hike without reforms:

"Today, Springfield politicians led by Speaker Mike Madigan voted to permanently raise taxes by 32% on the hard-working families of Illinois without passing property tax relief for homeowners, job-creating reforms, or term limits on politicians.
"Make no mistake about it - this historic vote was not the product of negotiation and compromise focused on pro-growth, citizen-empowering reforms. Last night, Madigan broke away from good faith budget negotiations with the intent of pushing his own plan to protect the broken status quo. Today, Madigan then introduced his massive 1,241-page tax-and-spend plan and gave lawmakers only hours to read, debate, and vote on the package.
"This 32% permanent tax increase, the largest in Illinois’ history, was the product of insider deal-making between special interests and entrenched politicians. Next year, voters will hold those politicians accountable for choosing Madigan over the people of Illinois.
"Now more than ever, Republicans across Illinois are standing with Governor Rauner and redoubling our efforts to end Madigan’s corrupt status quo."

Roger Eddy, Executive Director of Illinois Association of School Boards and Dr. Brent Clark, Executive Director of Illinois Association of School Administrators releasing this statement Sunday in response to the Rep. Bill Mitchell’s support of the budget bills:

“On behalf of the school board members and administrators who serve throughout the state, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Representative Bill Mitchell for his support of the appropriations bill and the accompanying revenue package recently approved by the Illinois House of Representatives. The provisions contained in SB 6 and SB 9 will allow school districts across the State of Illinois to open on time this fall and remain operational for the 2017-2018 school year. The members of our organizations are proud to stand behind those legislators who stepped up and made the politically tough vote to save not only public education, but also higher education, social services and the other services necessary for our state to survive.
“The greatest investment that we can make for our state's future is in the education of the students who will become tomorrow's leaders. We are grateful that leaders like Representative Mitchell took the bold step to support legislation necessary to end the long-standing budget stalemate and fund the future of our state.
“While there has been an appropriation for elementary and secondary education funding for the past two years, there was not enough state revenue to fund the budget that was passed for schools. This lack of funding resulted in the State of Illinois owing local schools more than $1 billion. Without a budget for the new school year - and without enough state revenue to pay for that budget - some schools would not have been able to open and others would have been able to stay open for only a while. When social services agencies, vendors, and local community groups are not funded, the impact is felt throughout communities and, ultimately, in our classrooms.
“Passage of a comprehensive, balanced state budget is a necessary step in restoring the stability of our local public schools and of our state. Support of this budget legislation shows the strong commitment to our local schools and to our students. Thank you, Rep Mitchell, for having the courage to be a champion for our school children.”

Statement of Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez on Sunday’s budget and revenue votes in the House:

‘Today was the toughest day in my professional life.
Since the day I was sworn into office in November 2015, Illinois has been in crisis. I became State Representative six months into this budget impasse. Since then, our financial situation as a state has deteriorated to the point that we are hours away from junk bond status, which means that with every day we delay, the tax increases will be higher and the cuts will be deeper.
For the past several months I have been meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House to work towards a compromised solution that will end this budget impasse. I continue to believe the path forward is through a combination of cuts, reforms, and revenue to a balanced budget.
Today's budget responsibly reduces spending by more than $3 billion, begins to pay down our backlog of bills, and provides desperately needed resources for our colleges, universities, human service providers, social services, and other vital services. Most importantly, this is a budget that is truly balanced.
No one ever wants to pay more in taxes, but there has been no legitimate proposal introduced this spring by the Governor, Republicans or Democrats that didn't include a need for more revenue to balance the budget.
By passing a balanced budget we can finally begin to climb out of the enormous financial hole and prevent a further erosion of our credit rating. Today’s vote is not the end of our crisis but a step in the right direction. We didn’t get into this mess overnight and we certainly won’t get out of it overnight either. I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to continue the work of passing meaningful reforms that will grow our economy and create jobs across Illinois. This balanced budget package is the first step toward stabilizing our state and putting us on the right track for years to come.”

Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, issued the following statement Sunday in response to the budget bills passing in the House:

“Today I voted against a permanent, significant increase of the income tax in the State of Illinois.
I am not opposed to supporting new avenues of revenue to help balance the state's budget. Today's option, though, was voting for a permanent income tax increase bill coupled with a spending bill that was introduced just mere hours before consideration. Even more dire than that, today's votes represent a one-sided end to negotiations when we need a compromise settlement to this impasse.
The majority in the House had all session to introduce a budget that works for the people of Illinois, and they left it until the new fiscal year had already begun, then dropped a budget and passed it within hours. This continues the decades-long practice of how Speaker Madigan runs the Illinois House.
The legislation put before us today does nothing to pay down the state's nearly $15 billion bill backlog. It does nothing to address the outrageous amount of money owed to vendors throughout the 87th District.
I want a truly balanced budget that is fair for the citizens of Illinois. I want a state that is moving forward, competitive, and is creating jobs. Today's votes did not meet that standard, and that is why I voted no.”

Greg Baise, president and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association issued the following statement Sunday in response to the budget bills passing in the House:

“Lawmakers today failed to enact pro-growth reforms, provide much-needed property tax relief, or address the looming pension crisis that continues to threaten our state’s fiscal health. The five billion dollar tax hike will further decimate Illinois’ middle class, harming Illinois businesses and families that are already fleeing our state in record numbers. Illinois continues to lose good, high-paying manufacturing jobs while all of our neighboring states are growing because our elected officials continue to impose higher taxes and more regulations. It’s a recipe for disaster.”
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