Response to 2/21/24 State Budget Address

February 22, 2024

While I’m encouraged by many of the investments the Governor addressed, I’m afraid of what investments will get stalled, which ones will fall through the cracks.

The state got a stark reminder that its fiscal challenges are not just a thing of the past. And the fiscal crises will continue because two things are true at the same time.

  1. Illinois won’t be a state that puts children, healthcare, and community development last. Illinois is a state that seeks to robustly invest in its people, and its people make Illinois a unique, and wonderful place.
  2. Illinois has a broken tax structure that crushes working families with higher taxes, especially when compared to the wealthy. Numbers don’t lie.

Illinois ranks top 3 in the highest state and local tax rates on lower and middle-income families. The effective tax rate for those in the lowest income 20% is twice as high as the tax rate for those at the top 1%.

Illinois takes a bigger share of the single working parent’s income, than it does from the wealthy hedge fund managers.

This tax structure is not dictated by the market or by circumstance. This is a policy choice. A choice we clearly can’t afford to keep making as a state.