Jameson: Without a balanced budget, out-migration will continue
Doug Jameson sees Gov. Bruce Rauner’s push for a balanced budget as a win-win proposition.
“The Constitution calls for this, and it’s more than time that we had a full and balanced budget,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “This sends a clear message to investors, helps our bond rating and eases the minds of all the vendors still owed by the state.”
Rauner’s plan further calls for lawmakers to enact a fiscal 2019 budget before July 1 that adheres to a revenue estimate instead of a partial spending plan that will only carry the state through November’s general election.
Rauner, who is running for a second term against Democrat J.B. Pritzker in November, has also pressed lawmakers to present him with a bill that seeks to save taxpayers as much as $1 billion in annual pension costs before the end of the spring legislative session May 31.
Jameson, a Belleville Republican challenging Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) in the 113th District, joins the likes of Republican House Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in throwing his support behind Rauner's plan.
“The alternative is continued out-migration from businesses and residents,” Jameson added. “That makes for a shrinking tax base going forward. I won't go as far as saying this proposal will happen, but I know that it should. Springfield really needs to get its act together.”
As it is, Illinois’ $130 billion in unfunded pension liability and a two-year stretch where the state was forced to operate without a balanced budget in place has pushed the state’s credit ratings to just above junk status.
“Everything you look at tells you this needs to happen,” Jameson said.
As for talk of a progressive tax recently put forth by Pritzker, Jameson dismissed it as nonsensical.
"Pritzker’s proposal is smoke and mirrors, and is not really a progressive increase,” Jameson said. “It was just raising taxes on those in living in the upper brackets. It’s what was once called fuzzy math.”