Durkin touts GOP package of budget compromise legislation
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and several Republican lawmakers have unveiled what they said is a package of comprehensive compromises that would end the budget impasse, bring reforms and start funding Illinois.
According to Durkin, the proposal that was presented on Wednesday picks up where negotiations broke off and would give relief to the state, which is closing in on 700 days without a budget.
“We recognize and appreciate the hard work that has been done in the Senate by both Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans," he said. "We are essentially picking up where they left off before Senate Democrats chose to go it alone. The bills we are filing today include provisions many Democrats have said in the past that they are willing to accept taken as a whole and that we believe would be signed by the governor. Our comprehensive proposal includes a novel concept for Illinois Democrats: a balanced budget, hard spending caps, lasting property tax relief and changes to our regulatory system that will create jobs.”
The plan also includes a four-year property tax freeze instead of a permanent one, term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers, a hard spending cap of $36 billion, pension reform, funds to vital human services and a school funding bill that would use an evidence-based formula.
Durkin called the proposals an array of compromises that both sides of the aisle need to work on immediately.
“We are calling upon our Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate to join us in passing a balanced budget with reforms ... that are good for taxpayers and will put Illinois back on track to the state that we love, the state that we grew up in,” Durkin said. “We must go back to Springfield to finish our job.”
Fiscal year 2018 begins in July.
“In 18 days, we will close a fiscal year and start a new one," Durkin said. "Where is the sense of urgency from Speaker [Michael] Madigan to bring this budget impasse to closure? For the first time in all my years serving in the Legislature, Speaker Madigan and his majority did not call a vote on a budget at the end of May. Why? These are questions we need to know [the answers to]. I am stating that we need to act now to pass a negotiated comprehensive balanced budget with reforms to change the status quo in how we operate in Illinois and to boost our struggling economy.”
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