Gov. JB Pritzker
Every day, across the state of Illinois, hardworking men and women wake up, put in a hard day’s work, care for their families, and keep their promises. It’s what our parents taught us to do, and it’s what we teach our kids to do.
But for decades, our state government didn’t keep its promises. Instead of embracing the humble, responsible spirit of Illinoisans everywhere, politicians let our state’s financial commitments fall by the wayside. Illinois earned a reputation for being unreliable, irresponsible, and reckless.
Unbalanced budgets wreaked havoc on our state’s economic outlook, made worse under Gov. Bruce Rauner who spent wildly while working with his Republican General Assembly allies to avoid passing a budget. Debt and deficits ballooned. Billions in unpaid bills and countless credit downgrades meant taxpayers bore the burden of high-interest rates. Under Rauner, over $1 billion in taxpayer money was wasted in late interest payments alone. Critical human services were cut, abused and neglected children were forgotten, schools suffered, and taxpayers paid the price for a government that couldn’t get the job done.
When I became governor in 2019, I immediately went to work balancing the budget. To get there we had to reduce wasteful spending and put our fiscal house in order while focusing on the needs of working families and our most vulnerable residents. My administration brought the same honesty, tenacity, and discipline to my governorship that people around our state bring to their work every day. We honored that because in Illinois, that’s who we are.
Unlike past administrations, we immediately used better-than-expected revenues to pay down bills and were conscious about not overcommitting the federal stimulus funds we received. We’ve passed balanced budgets on our own while investing in key priorities like education, health care, and human services, all while paying down our debt. We’ve dispelled the myth that fiscal responsibility needs to come at the expense of essential support services for state residents. We are ushering in a new era of fiscal responsibility in Illinois –– one in which we pay our bills on time and balance our budgets.
Today, Illinois has paid off almost all its overdue bills, saving taxpayers billions of dollars. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our partners in the General Assembly and State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza, we’ve stabilized state finances, leading to credit upgrades for the first time in two decades. Even in the throes of a pandemic, the Comptroller made sure that we successfully paid down a backlog of bills that just four years ago was as high as $16.7 billion!
But if there’s one thing our history has taught us is that we can’t take this progress for granted. We have been reshaping how Illinois government operates to ensure taxpayer money is being spent more wisely, and I spearheaded the effort to improve transparency and accountability in government. While Democrats mandated lobbying disclosures, passed new ethics guidelines, and closed $655 million per year in taxpayer-funded corporate loopholes, Republicans fought against these efforts and bowed down to wealthy special interests.
Illinoisans need a leader that looks out for them, not one who pours their hard-earned money down the drain in pursuit of campaign cash and lapdog status from the elite.
Since day one, I’ve been putting Springfield back on the side of working families, and that begins with putting Illinois on firm fiscal footing.
There is no doubt we have more challenges ahead, but our future looks a lot brighter today than it once did a few short years ago.
From Carbondale to Chicago, Illinois parents have been teaching their kids to deliver on their promises.
For the first time in years, their government is doing the same.
Gov. JB Pritzker was sworn in as the 43rd governor of Illinois on January 14, 2019. He has announced plans to seek re-election.
via The State Journal-Register
December 21, 2021 at 04:40PM