While Gov. Pat Quinn’s rhetoric may suggest he is taking the state’s fiscal challenges more seriously, State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) pointed out the budget plan Quinn outlined before a joint session of Illinois lawmakers on March 6 would increase state spending, even as he advocates for significant cuts to funding for suburban and downstate school districts.
“I think it is clear that the Governor’s strategy with this budget plan is to maximize the pain in some very sensitive areas in order to increase pressure on lawmakers to pass comprehensive public employee pension reform,” said Radogno.
However, Radogno noted that while Quinn appeared eager to work on pension reform, he has shown little in the way of leadership when it comes to tackling pension reform or Illinois’ significant fiscal problems.
“Since Gov. Quinn took office he’s presided over a massive income tax increase, the state’s bill backlog is a record-high $9.5 billion, and Illinois’ credit rating is the worst in the nation,” Radogno said. “During his speech the Governor criticized lawmakers for the lack of pension reform, yet most of the activity on pension reform has come out of the Legislature. In fact, the Governor has been woefully absent on pension reform, offering no legislation or real leadership on this issue. I am committed to enacting comprehensive pension and getting the state’s fiscal house in order as we move into Fiscal Year 2014.”