Rep. Stephens Responds to Governor Pritzker’s Annual Budget Address

Chicago…Today State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the Governor’s annual Budget Address:

“I am skeptical of the budgetary framework laid out by the Governor today. Without reforms, he will only ask for further tax increases. We need to build on legislative successes, such as the union backed pension consolidation bill for police and fire that passed last fall with bipartisan support.

“Instead of proposing long-term budgetary reforms, he is requesting additional revenue from yet another income tax increase. The Democrats have already raised taxes – TWICE – and those tax increases (once in 2011 and once in 2017) failed to put the State on a fiscally sound path. Taxpayers are weary of this song and dance. Democrats will keep coming back asking middle class families in on the northwest side of Chicago and in the suburbs for more of their hard-earned money.

“The claim is that only the top 3% will pay more, but there are no provisions in place to prevent future rates from being raised. No provisions will prevent the higher tax brackets from impacting the middle class who are already being soaked by high property taxes. No true reforms were presented to prevent the pension payment from ballooning. Nothing in this budget will provide for real property tax relief, improve education for our kids, or protect senior citizens on fixed incomes. What we heard today was more of the same, and this framework will only exacerbate Illinois’ outmigration problems.”