State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) released the following statement after Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a combined State of the State/Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Address to a joint session of legislators Feb. 17 via the Internet.
“The Governor really should have skipped the State of the State portion of his speech. After nearly a year of COVID-19, it’s no secret that times are tough. And the Budget Address portion of the Governor’s speech clearly does not reflect the reality of an Illinois economy ravaged by government-ordered shutdowns and its residents struggling mightily to make ends meet.
Gov. Pritzker must realize that by continuing to run Illinois solely by Executive Order, he must also take responsibility for the state’s current economic conditions. Government-imposed shutdowns have decimated the small-business community, and it’s the state’s job to help create a landscape for them to rebuild rather than impose new taxes on them.
Lawmakers have not been allowed a voice but we must have more information. We need to be able to ask the tough questions about the constitutionality of a budget with a $1.7 billion shortfall that relies on $1.5 billion in projected savings, much of which would come at the expense of our businesses. Where is the equity in repealing nearly $1 billion in business incentives, including the Blue Collar Jobs Act? Why is money that has been promised for much-needed infrastructure updates and improvements being delayed by a year? Is it any surprise that businesses continue to flee Illinois, taking thousands of jobs with them?
I am a strong proponent of all government officials working together to find bipartisan solutions to our state’s problems. My fellow lawmakers and I stand ready to work WITH the Governor to make the tough decisions necessary to pass a balanced budget with the business and government reforms needed to boost the state’s economy and jobs.”
Fiscal Year 2022 runs from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.