SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) joined Senate Republicans today in unveiling a series of spending and revenue adjustments that would put Illinois on firm financial footing.

"We’re not here proposing these spending reductions because we’re happy about cutting services,” Althoff said. “Many worthy programs – programs I strongly believe in – could be cut. The fact is we have no choice. The alternative would be the fiscal ruin of Illinois for generations to come, and that is simply unacceptable."

Last week, Althoff and Republican lawmakers unveiled a report showing that unless immediate action was taken to curb government spending, Illinois would see a $22 billion deficit in five years – numbers Gov. Quinn and Democratic lawmakers haven’t disputed.

“Everyone realizes Illinois’ fiscal crisis has turned into a fiscal disaster,” Althoff said. “The question is what we do about it. The one thing we cannot do is continue the “spend and borrow” practices that got us into this mess in the first place. We need serious and meaningful spending reductions and we need them now.”

Althoff said the plan unveiled on Thursday would total about $6.7 billion in reductions and financial improvements. At least $4 billion would be needed to bring the budget into line by the time the Governor’s temporary tax hike is set to expire and $5 billion would be needed to allow an earlier stepped reduction in the tax increases.

“Our plan phases out the Governor’s 67 percent income tax hike, because we strongly believe Illinois’ economic renewal must be a key state priority in the coming years, along with fiscal renewal,” Althoff said. “By repealing it, we will give some relief to families – many of who saw their taxes increase by hundreds of dollars a year – as well as small businesses who were already struggling to make ends meet in this tough economic climate.”

To see the full plan, click HERE.


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