Senate District 23 opponents Cullerton, Lewis diverge over Rauner budget address
State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), who represents Senate District 23, said Gov. Bruce Rauner’s highly anticipated fiscal year 2017 budget address on Wednesday left much to be desired.
“Sadly, the governor made no mention of vital programs – seniors’ and veterans’ services, drug prevention programs to address our ever-growing heroin epidemic, and funds to repair roads and bridges,” Cullerton said. “I urge him to consider communities’ needs and put forward a responsible budget to fund important services for the people of Illinois.”
During his address, Rauner told legislators to stop sending him spending plans that will be vetoed, stating that more jobs will translate to more people working, and, ultimately, lead to more people paying taxes.
Illinois has been operating without a budget since July 1 resulting in many spending cuts across the state.
In his address, Rauner reiterated what he has said in the past – a tax hike will not solve Illinois’ budget woes. Rauner also said he is working on behalf of people who see workers in surrounding states paying less taxes and earning better pay than Illinoisans.
“I’m fighting for those middle-class families every single day,” Rauner said.
Senate District 23 Republican candidate Seth Lewis said the bigger problem within the state is that no one is willing to compromise.
“And that’s what I think the governor was trying to put forth,” Lewis said. “I plan on working with the governor and with the government for our people.”
Lewis praised the governor for wanting to fund public education, advocate for reform and bring businesses back to the state.
“These are things that have to happen with our general legislature, which they’re not doing," Lewis said. "I appreciate the governor’s spirit in trying to work together. And as a legislator wanting to go to Springfield, I also want to work with other legislators around the state to make our state better.” .