The budget battles will begin on Wednesday as hundreds of people with disabilities rally
to support inclusive communities

At noon on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Governor Quinn will announce his fiscal year
2015 proposed budget for Illinois state government.

A joint Human Services budget briefing will held from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Michael
J. Howlett Building Auditorium, located at 501 South Second Street, Springfield, Illinois. In
attendance will be the Department of Human Services, Department of Healthcare and
Family Services, Department of Public Health, Department of Aging and the Department
of Children and Family Services.

The Governor’s Office and each Agency Director/Secretary will provide the audience with
a brief overview of the FY15 proposed budget – immediately followed by a Q&A session.

Story on the budget follows from today’s Chicago Tribune


Quinn budget faces glare of politics
Proposal likely will define stance for re-election, fate of tax hike

By Monique Garcia and Maura Zurick Tribune reporters

Gov. Pat Quinn will deliver an election-year budget plan Wednesday that’s fraught with
politically perilous choices for ruling Democrats — primarily whether to extend the income
tax increase set to expire in 2015 or make deep cuts in programs dear to some voters.

But those may not be the only choices available to Quinn, who could chart a middle
course that will carry the debate through the 2014 election.

The governor postponed his budget speech until after the primary election, waving off
critics who accused him of political indecision and arguing he needed the time to design
a five-year plan for state spending. On Monday he would say only that his proposed
budget would be fair.

“I’ll lay out with specificity, with concrete details exactly what the budget’s going to be in
the coming fiscal year — matter of fact, we have a blueprint for the coming five fiscal
years,” Quinn said after a news conference to announce his endorsement by the Service
Employees International Union. “I think it’s important we have a robust discussion on that
issue. It’ll start on Wednesday.”
While it’s unclear what that might look like, Quinn’s history may provide some guidance.

Earlier this year he called for doubling the earned income tax credit for low-income
families, and he has previously suggested closing so-called corporate loopholes. Business
taxes are met with fierce resistance in Springfield, but proposing that corporations pay
more in order to provide relief for working families would fit into Quinn’s campaign theme
of narrowing the income gap between the rich and the poor. He’s also pushing for an
increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Quinn could also look to a recent report by the Civic Federation of Chicago. The
watchdog group issued a five-year plan it said would pay down the state’s more than $5
billion backlog of bills while also reducing the income tax rate. The proposal calls for
extending the 5 percent income tax rate for individuals by another year before gradually
reducing it to 4 percent — which is still higher than the 3 percent rate in place before the
temporary increase. The group also suggested broadening the income tax base by taxing
retirement income.

“The governor can’t just rely on politically attractive gimmicks and gotchas that don’t
comprehensively address the state’s financial needs,” said Laurence Msall, president of
the Civic Federation.

No matter what Quinn proposes, he’s in for months of bashing by Republican challenger
Bruce Rauner, a Winnetka businessman who has called for rolling back the income tax
hike but has not provided details on how he would address the resulting $4 billion budget
hole for the first year.

On Monday, Rauner’s campaign warned voters to “be wary of anything that comes out of
the governor’s mouth” during the speech, saying his time in office “has been full of broken
promises and failure.”

Meanwhile, Democrats in the legislature have laid out a number of worst-case-scenarios
for massive cuts in education and human services if the tax increase is not extended.

“The bottom line is if we were to cut revenue from where we are now, the things that
people really care about in their communities are really at risk,” said Rep. Greg Harris, a
Chicago Democrat who chairs a House committee for human services appropriations.
“Education, human services, mental health, substance abuse, child care. It’s a level of
magnitude that they would not be reduced, they would potentially have to be eliminated.”

Republicans argue that Democrats are engaging in political theater.

“My take is frankly that the Democrats are exaggerating the extent of the cuts to try and
justify an extension of the tax increase,” said Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine. “The reality is
they all promised taxpayers that they would get their week’s pay back, and the taxpayers
paid their share.”

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)