Like the rest of the country, our state's economy is
in trouble. As a result, families are hurting in these challenging
Tough times call for strong leadership, and Illinois' lawmakers
have an opportunity to demonstrate that leadership during ongoing
budget negotiations. That's why I urge Rep. Brauer and Sen. Bomke to
stand up for children, families and seniors when they most need
support. Specifically, lawmakers must actively support a moderate
income tax increase to generate desperately needed new revenue.
There's no question that state government must undertake serious
belt-tightening, but it is clear that those savings won't come close
to closing its colossal shortfall. Generating new revenue is the
only responsible way to balance the state's budget while preventing
devastating cuts to services that are lifelines for Illinois
residents. Without substantial new revenue, programs such as
preschool, affordable child care, mental health and substance abuse
treatment, home care for seniors, services for people with
disabilities, and countless other priorities are going to be
Furthermore, boosting revenues will strengthen the state's
economy and prevent job losses.
I urge Rep. Brauer and Sen. Bomke to do the right thing for the
people of Illinois as they work toward a balanced budget resolution.
June 13, 2009]
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