State Senator Dan McConchie (Hawthorn Woods) issues the following statement about the prospect of a Senate ‘Grand Bargain’ budget deal and the current state of negotiations:
“Unfortunately, the ‘Grand Bargain’ negotiations in the Illinois Senate, designed to solve our budget crisis, started in the wrong place. It started with assuming we should dramatically raise taxes by $6 billion before we cut spending. I firmly disagree.
“Currently, the proposal would raise taxes by nearly $6 billion to meet our outlandish spending levels. It raises the income tax, adds new service taxes, adds a sales tax on food and medicine, a tax on a business’s payroll, and more. Then it promises to cut spending…at some point down the road.
“Our first goal should be to cut spending now to match our income. That is what each of us does at home to balance our family’s checkbook when our income doesn’t cover the bills.
“I appreciate that in recent weeks there has been more serious discussion on how to get to a balanced budget along with needed reforms than what we have seen in the past two years. The bipartisan discussions taking place in the Senate have demonstrated an interest on both sides of the aisle to come to a real agreement.
“But our first reaction should not be to make the good people of Illinois pay more and promise that cuts will come later. We’ve tried that in the past. It didn’t work. Therefore, I am calling on my colleagues to restart negotiations with a budget framework that cuts spending first instead of seeking more from taxpayers.”