The Governor gave his annual State of the State address today but failed to give any specifics on how he plans to address the state’s enormous debt and how to reform Medicaid and public pensions, according to Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon).
“I’m glad the Governor briefly touched on the need to reform Medicaid and pensions, given that they are the two major factors impacting our state’s finances. However, he offered no specifics on how he wants to reform Medicaid and pensions and has failed to implement the reform measures passed by the General Assembly,” Rep. Kay said.
Kay said the impression he got from the Governor today was that he had no real plan for dealing with Illinois’ backlog of $8.5 billion in unpaid bills.
“I understand that the Governor will be giving his budget address next week, but the overall state of the state is tied directly to the financial state of the state. We’ve got a mountain of unpaid bills and a seemingly endless line of unpaid vendors and medical providers and the Governor needs to have a plan to deal with those problems,” Kay said. “Unfortunately, all I heard today was how he wants Illinois to spend more money and now how he’s going to begin fixing our problems.”
Kay said the portion of the Governor’s speech regarding tax cuts was ironic given the Governor’s role in passing some of the largest taxes in state history.
“It was very ironic to hear the Governor claiming he wanted to provide tax relief when he worked so closely with legislative Democrats to impose the largest income tax increase in Illinois history,” Kay said.
According to Kay, it’s also ironic that the same Governor who worked with Democrats to pass a job-killing tax increase on employers is now claiming he’s job friendly.
“Unemployment has risen to 9.8 percent since the Democrats’ tax increase was enacted. That’s a whole percentage point from where it was. House Republicans have introduced legislation to roll back the corporate income tax increase and pass real workers compensation reform that would include causation and malpractice reform. If the Governor really wants to bring jobs to Illinois, he should take a look at legislation we’ve been introducing,” Kay said.
Kay said he looks forward to the real State of the State address, the budget address, in three weeks.
“The state’s debt negatively impacts our ability to attract employers and create jobs, provide a quality education for our children, and offer good medical care for our residents. Everything hinges on our finances, and that’s the only thing the Governor should have talked about today,” Kay said.