Illinois’ Republican Treasurer says he’s encouraged by some of what the governor said during Wednesday’s State of the State address, and will wait until the budget address before fully judging the fiscal implications of the governor’s proposals. Some lawmakers panned the governor for only fleetingly mentioned the state’s unfunded pension and Medicaid liabilities, which increase every year. But Treasurer Dan Rutherford was encouraged the governor acknowledged the problem, and hopes this is the first step toward fixing it.
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“It’s going to take some tough love right here at this capitol, and it’s going to take a lot of political courage,” he says. “He has challenged the General Assembly to have that, I support him on that challenge, and I hope it’s done.” Rutherford says the fact the governor even mentioned Medicaid and pensions is a step in the right direction. Rutherford says the governor’s proposals, which include tax breaks for low income families and businesses that hire veterans among other areas, are good -- but they need to be paid for.