Senator Mulroe

July 11, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Mulroe on the Senate floorI know many of you are frustrated and have questions about the recent budget votes. I want to take this opportunity to walk through what this balanced budget includes and explain why I decided to support it.

 

I am deeply concerned about the effects of the two-year budget impasse. Our universities have been starved. Road work was halted. People with disabilities and the elderly have suffered. Parents have worried if schools will open on time.

 

 

Backlog of billsThroughout the impasse, the governor has been spending billions of dollars more than the state brings in each year he's been in office. Our backlog of bills has grown from approximately $6.5 billion to nearly $15 billion while Gov. Rauner has been in office. With credit agencies threatening to downgrade the state to junk bond status, and Illinois on the brink of being unable to make mandatory monthly payments, it was time for action.

 

Last week, I voted to ensure schools open on time, that universities and colleges receive a full year of funding for the first time in two years, and vital government services continue. This budget is the result of more than six months of negotiations and compromises with Senate Republicans. I supported a balanced budget that received both Democrat and Republican votes in the Senate and the House. It will put our state on a path toward fiscal stability.

 

This budget spends $36 billion while bringing in $36.4 billion, spending $1.2 billion less than what Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed in February. It includes nearly $3 billion in spending cuts. Most programs and agencies will see a 5- to 10-percent cut to their budgets, including my staff.

 

Raising revenue is a responsibility we took seriously. Our approach was to cut first before asking for a tax increase. Lawmakers began this spring by inviting Gov. Rauner’s agency directors to pinpoint for us possible spending cuts and areas of waste, fraud and abuse within their departments, but none of them were able to identify a single dollar in savings.

 

Under the budget plan that has passed in both houses of the General Assembly with bipartisan support, Illinois’ personal income tax will increase by 1.2 percentage points – from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, the rate Gov. Rauner agreed to and less than the rate that was in effect three years ago.

 

This revenue plan will provide the long-term stability our state needs. We cannot continue to spend more than we bring in.

 

Outside of budgetary matters, the Senate passed numerous reforms this spring, several of which are sitting on the governor’s desk. We passed property tax relief, workers’ compensation reform, pension reform, term limits, procurement reform and a measure that allows local communities to consolidate duplicative government offices. Many of these came at the request of the governor, and all were negotiated with Senate Republicans.

 

Gov. Rauner waiting to sign a budgetAfter presenting the governor with a balanced budget and numerous reforms, he vetoed the package. The Senate and House overrode his veto, ending the budget impasse.

 

I voted for this budget plan to provide Illinois with fiscal stability and to stop the chaos that the budget impasse has caused. There is more work to fix the problems the impasse created, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide certainty for the state.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns at my district office, 773-763-3810; my Springfield office, 217-782-1035; or through my website. To stay up to date on legislation and events in the district, like my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @SenMulroe.

 

Sincerely,
John Mulroe
Senator John G. Mulroe
10th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming event in the district

 

Tax appeal seminar July 24

Tax appeal seminar flyer

 

District Office

5940 North Milwaukee Ave. • Chicago, IL 60646

773-763-3810 (Phone) • 773-763-3881 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

127 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-1035 (Phone) • 217-782-2331 (Fax)

 

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 10th District
127 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1035
(217) 782-2331 FAX
 
District Office:
5940 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-3810
(773) 763-3881 FAX