SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following Governor Rauner’s annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, issued the following statement:
“Today Governor Rauner delivered his third State of the State address as Illinois enters its 19th month without a full budget. In those 19 months, our progress paying down our bill backlog has deteriorated and has instead been exacerbated, as our backlog of bills has now more than doubled from 4.5 billion to 10 billion, and it continues to worsen every day. Not as measureable are the millions of residents who have gone without critical life-saving services or have seen neighborhood resource centers close their doors and shut down for good.
“I came to Springfield to be an independent voice amongst the partisan dialogue. I believe that Illinois must buckle down and reduce spending and through eliminating corporate loopholes and cutting down on rampant waste and fraud throughout government. We should be looking at new avenues to increase revenue that does not increase the burden on middle-class families, such as the Millionaire’s Tax for education, which voters overwhelming supported in 2014. Families in the Quad Cities have been balancing their budgets in the face of rising costs and shrinking wages, and the state of Illinois should do the same.
“That being said I understand and appreciate the undertones of his speech. I agree with him that Illinois must do more to attract and retain businesses who want to do business in Illinois. We must position Illinois as a place for growth by incentivizing businesses to grow and keep jobs in Illinois, while also holding them accountable when they ship jobs overseas. Illinois can grow its economy while prioritizing the needs of middle-class families, and that will be my top priority throughout the next two years.
“Once more, I am appreciative of Governor Rauner’s address to the General Assembly, and I look forward to his pledge to continue to work towards a resolution to our budget crisis. It is my hope that our Governor will allow the budget working groups to resume their work, and we can finally bring this drawn out crisis to an end. I am ready to get to work, and I hope my colleagues from both sides of the aisle will join me.”
For more information, please contact Halpin’s full-time constituent service office at email@example.com or at 815-661-0389.