Anderson not high on Pritzker's 'tax and borrow' budget
Illinois State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia) seems to assess Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first budget address as a mixed-bag proposition.
“I found items in the governor’s budget proposal that I support,” Anderson said in a press release following Pritzker’s Feb. 20 address. “I was glad to see that he prioritized spending for K-12 schools and higher education. However, I also have some major concerns.”
Chief among Anderson's concerns were what he described as Pritzker's insisting on adhering to the same “tax and borrow” policies that have gotten the state in such a financial crisis.
“His solution was simply tax and borrow, repeating the mistakes of the past and kicking the can down the road,” Anderson said. “The residents and businesses in my district cannot afford another tax increase of any kind. If we keep adding to the burden placed on employers, it’s going to be hard for them to stay in my district. Instead, they’ll cross the river and continue doing business in Iowa, where there’s a lower minimum wage and lower workers’ compensation costs.”
With the Chicago Tribune already pegging the state’s deficit at well over $3 billion, Pritzker’s plan would see the state raise its level of investment in the areas of school funding, early childhood education and social services programs, with more than a fair share of the funding for the added spending coming from revenues generated from the state’s legalization of marijuana and sports betting.
“I recognize that this is just a starting point,” Anderson said. “Going forward, I hope the governor’s rhetoric on bipartisanship matches his actions as we continue to address the budget needs of the state.”