March 16 was a busy day, as I also welcomed representatives from Illinois State University to the Capitol March 16 for Illinois Research and Development Innovation Day. I talked about the Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network (CIRBN) and about The Export Project with Dr. Iris Varner, Professor and Director of International Business; Dr. Aslihan Spaulding, Associate Professor of Agribusiness; and Jason Spence, CIRBN Project Director.
REALITY-BASED BUDGET PLAN ADDRESSES BAD POLICIES, FAILED LEADERSHIP
Bad policies and failed leadership have left Illinois state government in the midst of its worst-ever financial crisis.
I joined my colleagues March 17 in unveiling a multi-point budget plan to put Illinois back in the black with a combination of government reforms and spending reductions of at least $5 billion.
Governor Quinn is not sincere in cutting spending or right-sizing state government. That’s what our proposal is all about. Someone has to speak up for the people of Illinois. If we don’t, we are going to continue to see the erosion of jobs, higher unemployment and less state revenue.
The “Facing Fiscal Reality” plan unveiled by Senate Republicans March 17 includes a series of spending and revenue adjustments that would put Illinois on firm financial footing and allow the roll back of the 67% income tax increase enacted during the lame-duck legislative session in January.
The Governor’s budget plan for the coming fiscal year will continue deficits and deficit spending for years to come and leave the state in even worse financial shape. Part of the Governor’s plan also includes new borrowing, which I also oppose.
One of the bigger problems is that more borrowing continues to dig a deeper hole, putting the burden squarely on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Frankly, a preponderance of the interest payments would go to support other economies outside the state of Illinois. It’s a false promise and a promise that would further erode the job climate in Illinois.
A lack of long-range planning is just one example of failed leadership that has precipitated the state’s fiscal crisis.
Governor Quinn misled the people in several ways. One is his tax increase. Although his budget director told New York they needed a 2 percent tax increase, he pledged not to raise it more than 1 percent. Then he turned his back on the people of Illinois by raising the tax two percent, taking from them the equivalent of a week’s pay. I called for more cuts. Governor Quinn called for cuts, but we can see that he asked for and was authorized a 10 percent increase in spending this year. He’s not serious about tackling the problems of state spending.
Details of the Senate Republican budget plan can be found online at http://www.illinoisrealitycheck.com/.
BRADY TO SERVE ON ELECTRIC VEHICLE TASK FORCE
I am honored to have been asked to join the Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force.
Created in January, the Task Force will work to promote electric vehicles and partner with businesses and local government to build a charging-station infrastructure.
The Task Force is already working with Mitsubishi Motors, which pledged February 4 to supply 1,000 of its new, all-electric cars for local drivers, starting later this year.
You can learn more about the Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force at its Web site, http://www.evtown.org/, which is currently being developed and is expected to launch soon.