The leading Democrat in the House says the governor's agenda is a failed economic theory while the leading Republican in the Senate says what’s failed is only raising taxes.
Reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner’s second budget address to the Illinois Legislature, Speaker Michael Madigan said the governor’s call for economic reforms will diminish the working class.
“Government ought to be about the business of working to raise wages,” Madigan said, “raise the standard of living.”
Click here for summary
However, leading Republican Senator Christine Radogno said what’s been a failure is the idea of only raising taxes without reforms.
“But what is the failed approach is to just do a tax hike and nothing else,” Radogno said. “We’ve already tried that and we’re worse off.”
Madigan has said there needs to be a combination of cuts and new revenue, but again pushed for his so-called millionaires surcharge. Radogno said there must be economic reforms to growth the economy as a way to increase revenue for the state’s coffers.
Meanwhile if Democrat lawmakers won’t go along with the governor’s proposed reforms in exchange for GOP support for tax increases, the governor provided another choice to give him broader budget authority to manage the state’s limited resources.
Madigan said giving the governor broader authority to make cuts or shift funds to fill holes differs from his constitutional power through line-item veto.
“Under the constitution that action comes back to the legislature and the legislature has an opportunity to rescind what the governor did,” Madigan said. “What the governor is asking for is unilateral budget making power.”
Leading Republican Senator Christine Radogno says if reforms aren’t agreed upon, there’s no other choice.
“He doesn’t want to have to make drastic cuts all by himself,” Radogno said. “But if there’s no alternative we owe it to the taxpayers of this state to stop the bleeding.”
Rauner said lawmakers must make the choice between the two options without delay.