SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, issued the following statement Thursday after voting to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of the bipartisan budget passed:
“A third year of Governor Rauner’s budget crisis would have been catastrophic for the state. If the governor’s veto had stood today, our schools would not have opened in the fall and many of our public colleges would have closed. More social service agencies would have cut staff, cut services and eventually closed. Illinois would have continued spending at an uncontrollable rate, putting taxpayers on the hook for an astronomical $26 billion tax hike a year from now.
“The amount of suffering from the absence of a budget would have intensified, both by affecting the daily lives of more residents and increasing the suffering of those residents already suffering from not having a budget. This is the context in which the governor decided to play political games.
“Illinois is at the fiscal brink, and thus it requires leadership now more than ever, and leadership means doing what’s right, not what’s easy. But given the governor’s unwillingness to sign a balanced, full-year budget that even many of his fellow Republicans voted for, we know that Illinois cannot look to Gov. Rauner for that leadership when it is required most.
“Thus, if Gov. Rauner is not willing to make the tough decisions required to keep Illinois on sound financial footing, then I will provide that leadership by voting to override his veto.
“My override vote cut nearly $3 billion in government bureaucracy to dedicate our finite resources to funding critical programs like rape crises centers, need-based college financial assistance and in-home care for the elderly. This bipartisan budget also affirms our investments in education by ensuring our local schools will open on time and fully funds our public colleges and universities. I also took steps to ensure middle-class families are protected, by expanding tax credits that will help them keep more of what they earn, while requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.
“Governor Rauner put Illinois on a course it could not sustain. Today, Democrats and Republicans stood together to call for a new way forward.”