CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—January 12, 2015. Today, Bruce Rauner begins his tenure as governor of Illinois. In his very first speech as governor of our state, Governor Rauner made it clear that business interests will be his main priority. He made no indication of his plans to generate the revenue our state desperately needs.
He criticized Illinois for having “high taxes and high regulation.” “With two-thirds of corporations paying NO corporate income tax to our state, big business has already gotten what amounts to a free ride. It’s time for them to pay their fair share,” said Ann Marie Cunningham, a 77-year-old member of ONE Northside and Fair Economy Illinois.
He called on all Illinoisans to sacrifice in order to yield greater shared prosperity in the future. He did not acknowledge that the most vulnerable Illinois residents are already sacrificing. From FY09-FY14, Illinois human service providers sustained 23% funding cuts. Additionally, there is a projected $1.4 billion shortfall for the remainder of FY15. Those most in need are already sacrificing the most.
“The bottom line is that Illinois is in a dire revenue crisis,” said Toby Chow, a member of IIRON and co-chair of Fair Economy Illinois. “If Governor Rauner thinks he can both cut corporate taxes and accomplish his goals of a world class education system, he is living in a fantasy land. Big Corporations and the 1% must pay their fair share.” Governor Rauner did not mention any specific plans for raising the revenue we need to address our projected $12.7 billion budget deficit for FY16.
“The Rauner-Madigan corporate agenda has begun,” said Sonny Garcia, a Bloomington resident who represents Illinois People’s Action as a co-chair of Fair Economy Illinois. “They will try to make it seem like there is no other choice aside from cutting spending. But they will be making a real choice. Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan will be choosing between closing corporate tax loopholes that do nothing other than increase the profits of big corporations versus cutting vital services that allow people to live dignified lives.”
Fair Economy Illinois is a statewide alliance that organizes urban, suburban and rural residents around issues that affect the common good. We organize people and money in order to: 1) limit the power of corporations and private interests in our state; 2) ensure adequate revenue for the State of Illinois to fulfill its primary functions so Illinoisans may lead dignified lives with strong public education, high quality infrastructure, fully funded human services and public safety, and; 3) protect our environment and natural resources from corporate exploitation.
The alliance comprises three organizations: Illinois-Indiana Regional Organizing Network (IIRON), Illinois Peoples’ Action (IPA), and Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside).