SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, offers the following statement regarding a new economic policy agenda to move Illinois forward and on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State Address:

“As I listen to members of our community, I’m reminded everyday just how much this historic budget impasse has negatively impacted their lives. Day care centers have closed, women haven’t been able to receive cancer screenings, seniors are losing meals and rides to the doctor, and health care services have evaporated, despite my best efforts to secure funding for these vital services. The governor’s refusal to restart legislative working groups that have worked in the past and negotiate in good faith on a budget is astounding. We need to restart these groups to discuss real reforms we can agree on.

“I agree with the governor that reforms are needed to jump start Illinois’ economy, but this can’t be done by cutting wages. Instead, we need to help middle-class families keep more of their hard-earned paycheck. That is why I support raising the minimum wage and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit.

“To help businesses grow and hire more people, we should cut the corporate income tax to provide relief to all businesses. We need to level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses by making sure every business, including large corporations, pay some income tax.

“We also need to make sure that people throughout the state have the skills they need to compete for these good-paying jobs and that means investing in education. I support a plan that will institute a surcharge tax on millionaires, which will go towards funding education, without creating additional burdens on working families. We also need to make sure we are investing in colleges and universities across the state. Our public universities should never threaten that they may have to close their doors due to a lack of state funding. I am also committed to fully funding MAP grants, which helps thousands of students attend college.

“My priority is to work with legislators to develop a state budget that protects vital services and the middle class. I share your frustration about the stalemate going on in Springfield, but I refuse to support an agenda that hurts working families. I encourage the governor to come to my district and listen to the concerns of our community to understand that it’s time to move Illinois forward.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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