An email from Mike Tryon:
On Wednesday of this week a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly will meet for the annual State of the Budget Address.
I am hopeful that Governor Quinn will present a fiscally responsible plan which includes no new spending, no new labor costs, and solid proposals for improving Illinois’ jobs/business climate.
I will also be listening for specific proposals to address our state’s largest and fastest-growing budget items: Medicaid, retiree healthcare and pension costs.
When the governor presented his State of the State address two weeks ago, he announced his intention to seek $1 billion in new spending.
The feedback on that proposal was quick and definitive: the people of Illinois are tired of leaders who spend money the state doesn’t have.
Today one of every three budget dollars in the general fund is spent on debt repayment.
That is money that should be earmarked for education, community service providers, and other essential programs.
We will never have a healthy economy in Illinois as long as 1/3 of everything we bring in is tied to managing debt. With that in mind, it is my hope that the governor has come to understand that tackling the budget this year will require less spending than last year.
Along those same lines, contract negotiations will begin soon between the governor and the state’s union and non-union employees. With mountains of unpaid bills that require immediate attention, Governor Quinn needs to pledge to keep salaries in check as he enters into these discussions.
The tax increase that was pushed through 13 months ago has driven jobs out of Illinois and sent more than 60,000 additional Illinoisans to the unemployment line.
It’s time for a different approach, and I hope to see Governor Quinn lead the charge on changing Illinois’ course. Democrat Governors Jerry Brown (California) and Andrew Cuomo (New York) have both shown great leadership in their states by offering reforms, program and agency consolidations and deficit-reducing strategies.
While I do not agree 100% with everything these governors are doing, they seem to understand that status quo tax and spend agendas are not working in their states, and they have changed paths.
Perhaps Illinois could do the same.
If you enjoy Facebook, I would encourage you to “like” #CapChats on Facebook. During the governor’s 12:00 speech on Wednesday and shortly after it, I, along with many of my colleagues, will be posting our thoughts about the speech on this page.
Michael W. Tryon
State Representative, District 64