SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – House Speaker Michael J. Madigan released the following statement Saturday:
“Two years ago at this time, Illinois stood on the edge of a cliff. Billions of dollars in debt had piled up over a 700-day budget crisis. Domestic violence shelters, Meals on Wheels, and lifesaving breast cancer screenings faced severe cuts and those who depend on these essential services faced an uncertain future.
“Today, while Democrats and Republicans have used some additional time to build a stronger compromise, the people of Illinois can see the first signs of a state beginning to move in the right direction.
“We have now passed a bipartisan, balanced budget that invests $375 million more in education, and protects critical services for seniors, women’s health, and families in need. It meets our full pension obligation, and pays down more than $1 billion in old bills.
“Our budget has created a path to fairer taxes for the middle class. Our Fair Tax package will result in tax relief for 97% of Illinois taxpayers, and makes the wealthy pay their fair share so we can continue to hold the line on middle-class taxes, balance budgets, invest in critical services, and take necessary steps toward reducing property taxes.
“We have taken steps to make our economy stronger: higher wages for working families and equal pay for women; career training to prepare workers for high-wage jobs; and tax credits that invest in businesses that invest in Illinois.
“We have passed reforms that will make health care more affordable and accessible: Protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions; legislation to cap skyrocketing premiums and rein in prescription drug costs; and critical assurances that women’s health will always be a fundamental right.
“While there remains more work to be done to put Illinois fully back on track, in these steps we see what Illinois can be when our leaders stand up for our middle-class families while still seeking common ground; when we use our time to build compromises; when we have a governor who encourages Illinois to think big again; and when we all commit ourselves to working together to build a stronger Illinois.”
Visit Speaker Madigan’s website
300 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
6500 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 581-9414 (fax)