SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) released the following statement after Gov. J. B. Pritzker delivered his Budget Address to a joint session of legislators Feb. 2 via a virtual broadcast from the Old State Capitol.
“How appropriate that this Governor presented his assessment of Illinois and his plan for the upcoming budget on Ground Hog Day. His speech was full of hope for sunshine but did not acknowledge the shadows of more fiscal winter looming. He is proposing to give Illinois families short-term, one-time relief, instead of the meaningful tax reforms they need. He is throwing money at governmental programs instead of holding violent criminals accountable and protecting our communities and police officers. He is not making the tough changes needed to address the chronic mismanagement or corruption within the state.
What Illinoisans need are long-term solutions, not election-year gimmicks. We need to hear more about sustainable revenues from a strong Illinois economy, not just using one-time revenues from the federal government. In recent days, Senate Republicans have offered well-thought-out plans for fiscal stability, much-needed and long-overdue ethics reform, and a plan targeting violent crime and offering a critical lifeline to law enforcement efforts.
Any system of government should be open to bipartisan review and cooperation, but Governor Pritzker has gone it alone from day one. So it is not surprising we did not hear a more thorough assessment of the problems that still plague our state.”
As the legislative budget process gets under way, Stewart says he stands ready to work with his fellow lawmakers to make the tough decisions necessary to pass a balanced budget with structural reforms that will boost the economy and jobs.
Fiscal Year 2023 runs from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.