SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – After the General Assembly adjourned over the weekend, state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Chicago, discussed the progress made in the House this year and the work left to be done to build a stronger middle-class.
“For far too long, the Illinois legislature used a Band-Aid approach to fixing the holes in our state budget, which has left us with billions of dollars in state debt,” Burke said. “I’m proud to say that this year, we made real progress getting our state back on stable footing after years of crisis. When revenue from tax season in April was unexpectedly high, we used it to pay down a portion of our unfunded pension liability. Last week, we passed a balanced budget that provides critical funding for education and health care services without spending beyond our means.”
Burke voted for a Fair Tax Amendment that would hold the wealthiest in Illinois accountable to paying their fair share of income taxes while 98% of residents in Burke’s 36th District would pay the same rate or less. If approved by voters in 2020, this amendment would allow Illinois to bring in more revenue while providing relief to those who need it most.
“Bringing in more dollars will allow us to continue paying down our debt while funding the job training programs that will grow our economy,” Burke said. “Believe it or not, there is actually a surplus of high-paying jobs in the tech and vocational fields. We simply do not have enough workers with the necessary skills. I’m looking forward to expanding access to affordable educational opportunities that will equip more of our young people with the knowledge they need for a successful career.”
While much progress was made during the 2019 legislative session, Burke is focused on moving Illinois forward despite the federal government’s attempts to remove regulations meant to control the cost of health insurance while shifting the tax burden to those who can least afford it.
“When I talk to families in my district, their top concern is how difficult it is to keep up with the rising costs of living. Reforming our income tax structure will help, but overhauling our property tax system is necessary to provide the relief that middle-class families need to thrive,” said Burke. “Along with the rest of the House Democratic Caucus, it’s my priority to ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare, educational opportunities and to lower the tax burden on working people.”