Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman: Statement on budget address

February 14, 2018

The state's existing balanced budget requirement isn't stopping politicians from growing spending and mortgaging away Illinoisans' futures year after year

CHICAGO (Feb. 14, 2018) — Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address:

“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal includes many essential reforms the Illinois Policy Institute has supported for years.

“Ending teacher pension pickups is a long-needed reform. Right now, local school districts set teacher salaries, which determine pension benefits, but the districts don’t pick up full pension costs — the state does. That’s not fair, and it costs the state nearly $1 billion.

“Addressing sky-high AFSCME benefits is also a much-needed reform. The average cost of a state worker’s health care policy is more than $19,332 per year, and taxpayers are forced to cover nearly 80 percent of that cost — for 35,000 workers. That tab totals more than $520 million.

“Illinoisans need tax relief. But that can only happen if it is enacted responsibly. What this state needs desperately is long-term fiscal stability, and that means making state government live within its means.

“The state’s existing balanced budget requirement isn’t stopping politicians from growing spending and mortgaging away Illinoisans’ futures year after year. Over the last decade, state government spending grew 25 percent faster than personal incomes. But our spending cap proposal would ensure that lawmakers don’t spend more than taxpayers can afford. This is a long-term fix: Lawmakers would know exactly how much they have to spend each year, and taxpayers wouldn’t have to fear the threat of tax hikes year after year.

“A spending cap removes the cloud of uncertainty when it comes to state spending, would help stop Illinois’ outmigration crisis, would boost the economy and would go a long way in making Illinois an attractive place to plant roots.”

For more information on the Institute’s spending cap plan, visit
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