Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his third budget address Wednesday afternoon. During the address, he mentioned how more revenue was being used to fund the Illinois Department of Transportation, K-12 education and the Illinois State Police for more troopers to address the shootings on the expressways.
This proposed spending plan would essentially go into effect July 1st. However, the members of the House and Senate must vote on the plan for it to be implemented. Currently, Illinois is in the second year (20 months) without a budget after previous attempts ended in a stalemate.
The Governor mentioned how lawmakers cannot just increase taxes and cut spending to get out of debt. He says they all must "grow our way to the future we want," and with growth in the economy, this will lead to more jobs, expanded revenues and a stronger foundation for the future. Every day there is no budget in place, Illinois loses $11 million. As of Tuesday, February 14, the state is in $11.9B in debt.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says the failure to even introduce a balanced budget is the reason many are suffering in the state.
"As the governor told a newspaper recently, his plan is to 'stay the course.' That means continuing to use the disabled, the elderly, school children, victims of abuse, and many others as negotiating tools in his efforts to increase profits of big corporations at the expense of middle class and struggling families. 'Staying the course' as the Governor wishes, means billions of dollars in new debt, and lost services for tens of thousands of Illinois' most vulnerable children, seniors and families."
After the speech, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus had a few choice words for the governor. First as Representative Carol Ammons (D)-Urbana, said there is no actual tangible document for lawmakers to see the new proposed budget. She said it is not on the website and no one knows the actual numbers Rauner is proposing.
Chair of the Black Caucus, Senator Kim Lightford said she was appalled by Wednesday's address since Rauner didn't event begin to address the violence in Chicago and make that a priority. The Caucus pointed out the recent shootings of three children in Chicago over the weekend, one where a two-year-old died.
You can watch these interviews from the Black Caucus on the What's The Word IG.