July 07, 2017

Illinois General Assembly overrides Rauner, passes balanced budget

The Illinois General Assembly acted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a budget/revenue plan that brings Illinois back from the brink of fiscal collapse.

After two years in which Rauner held the budget hostage to his own political agenda, our state was facing crises on every front—road work/infrastructure projects halted, human services agencies shutting their doors, state universities losing students and faculty, a mountain of unpaid bills, and the looming threat of becoming the first ever “junk bond” state. 

Legislators finally stood up to Rauner and voted to make the tough choices needed to save our state—cutting some $3 billion in spending and raising taxes by 1.2% (from 3.75% to 4.95%). Illinois income tax rates will still be lower than many neighboring states—and less than they were three years ago.

But after more than two years of letting our state circle the drain, Rauner promptly vetoed this hard-won balanced budget passed by both Democrat and Republican legislators in a desperate bid to continue his harmful hostage-taking tactics.

In an extraordinary 4th of July vote, lawmakers of both parties in the Senate stood together and voted to override Rauner’s veto. And the House did the same on July 6, giving Illinois the stability of a balanced budget, and allowing the state to begin to pay down the governor's mountain of unpaid bills.

With Illinois finally on a path to fiscal stability, Rauner is on the rampage, stirring up hatred for those legislators who voted to end his budget blockade. As a result, calls are pouring in to those legislators’ offices with negative messages.

The attackers offer no alternative, except to back Rauner’s so-called “reforms.” Those “reforms” include cutting the pensions of public employees, cutting benefits for injured workers, and slashing funding for the CMS Group Health Plan. There is no evidence at all that these bad ideas would close the state’s budget gap or stabilize finances for the future.

Stand up against anti-government extremists. Don’t let their pro-Rauner message be the only one that legislators hear. If your legislator voted yes, call them to say, Thank you for voting to get our state back on track by supporting a balanced budget!

You can call the AFSCME hotline to be connected directly to your legislator: 888-912-5959.

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