Today is a sad day in Illinois. It’s a day in which I take no joy. Today my thoughts are with the people of my district and across this state. Compounding that sadness is the hate and misinformation being spread on these tremendously important issues.
Many have asked, “why did you support this bill?” During the last two years, I have been to every corner of my district. I’ve heard from you on the need for a balanced budget and seen the effects of the lack of any budget at all. These effects have grown worse with each passing month. It has now gotten to the point where these effects will rear their ugly head for all of us, if they haven’t already. Without a budget many schools will not open, health care and nursing home facilities will close, small businesses will shutter, property taxes will become even higher and thousands will lose their jobs. These are not realities somewhere years down the road, these are the realities of the coming weeks and months.
So I fought for the best budget bill attainable. It’s a bill that’s a long way from perfect, but it’s a bipartisan bill that immediately cuts $3 billion in spending and projects a $7.5 billion reduction of Illinois’ backlog of bills, big steps in the right direction. Most importantly, it keeps the doors of our small businesses and schools open, the elderly will remain in the care of skilled professionals and Illinoisans will continue to go to work and support their families. I supported this bill because the alternatives are as bad as we can imagine. I firmly believe that the further financial hardship caused by moving forward without a budget would ensure income tax hikes twice that of this weeks increase. The responsible thing to do was to take this step in the right direction.
Over two decades of one party control have put this state in this dire position. Now is the time for the tough choices that will guide us to better days ahead. I am proud to be your representative and I will to continue to fight for the reform that this state so desperately needs and the prosperity that its citizens deserve.