Happy New Year! Now we must really get to work holding our state legislators accountable. As you may know, the Illinois General Assembly will hold a “lame duck” session over the next few days and the newly-elected General Assembly will be sworn in on Wednesday. Legislation dramatically affecting you and your family may be taken up in the [...]
Illinois politicians raised taxes last year by 67%, yet we still have the worst-funded pension system in the nation, with over $85 billion in unfunded liabilities. This problem exists because politicians in Springfield skipped pension payments, while also granting to their government union allies overly generous and unsustainable pension benefits that we cannot afford.
Now, the payments for these pension benefits are crowding out funding for all other worthwhile state priorities. Whether you are a small business owner, a social service provider, a parent of school kids, a Medicaid beneficiary, or just a hard-working, taxpaying family, Illinois' pension crisis is costing you big time.
The courageous, common-sense budget and labor reforms passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have put their state on solid fiscal footing, earning high praise from the business community, residents and even some government employees, while actually fostering a decrease in property taxes. AFP-Illinois is joining patriots throughout the nation in supporting the Wisconsin reforms and we need your help with two important activities:
1. Sign up for our Freedom Phones program to make phone calls into Wisconsin from your own home or cell phone. You do not even need a computer, only a phone, to help out at this important time.
The Illinois Policy Institute released their state budget blueprint, "Budget Solutions 2013: Innovation for Illinois". It lays out recommendations and a pathway for a balanced state budget that allows the Quinn income tax to expire as scheduled.
The plan is a great example of using innovative ideas and approaches to solve the monumental fiscal challenges facing our state. We hope the legislature will adopt many of these recommendations to stop spending money we don't have and make Illinois competitive again.
From reading Greg Hinz's column in Crain's Chicago Business, it seems as if the Quinn Administration's Director of the Dept of Human Services, former state Rep. Julie Hamos, has finally come around to our way of thinking... kind of.
Listen to Director Hamos' words:
The system is going bankrupt. It's going to collapse. I really believe that, she says. The traditional fee-for-service medical delivery system is killing us, and key stake-holders are gaming a program filled with abuse. She concludes, It's soooo screwed up.