Illinois Taxpayers Deserve Respect

In an attempt to end Illinois’ longest-ever budget stalemate, Republican State Senators Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) and Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) unveiled a multi-point "Taxpayer Bargain" plan for a balanced state budget Tuesday, April 4.

The Fiscal Year 2018 plan includes a mix of traditional money management principles and new ideas. The balance budget prioritizes spending and requires the state to live within its means. It requires leadership and fiscal responsibility.

 

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Balanced Budget/Cuts

Balanced Budget –
•    Prioritizes spending –
•    Recognizing limited resources – acknowledging    challenging cuts
•    There are cuts and savings through government reorganization
•    Protects elementary and secondary education – maintains 100% of General State Aid and mandated categoricals
•    Protects Medicaid spending for the most vulnerable
•    Maintains public pensions payments obligations

Cuts –
•    10% across-the-board at state agencies and departments - Exempts primary and secondary education, Medicaid for the most vulnerable and pension payments
•    Simply asking for a dime of savings for every dollar spent
•    Asking each university to reduce spending by 5%
•    Reduce discount rate to retailers for Sales Tax collection – (from 1.75% to 1%)

Requires Fiscal Responsibility 

•    No tax increase
•    No new taxes
•   Executive Branch must manage/Contains some of the Governor’s own ideas and Republican Leader Sen. Christine Radogno’s Senate Bill 2063 – “Unbalanced Budget Response Act”
•    Governor must negotiate changes to state employee group health care and AFSCME contract wages
•    Imposes real spending cap, which is tied to legislative salaries. If the General Assembly violates the spending cap they lose their pay for that fiscal year.
•    Borrows $7 billion to pay off past due bills. Could realize savings of $500 million in late charges.
•    Borrowing must include a spending cap set at the fiscal year revenue level projected by the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. Any revenue increase over this amount will be distributed as follows: 25% to education 25% for roads & bridges, 10% towards pension debt and 40% to payoff the backlog of unpaid bills.

 Pension/Medicaid Reform 

Reforming Illinois’ Public Pensions
•    Reforms legislator pensions before reforming pensions for other state employees.
•    Ends public pensions for all new legislators going forward.
•    Keeps promises to current retirees and employees, and protect taxpayers going forward.
•    Includes President John Cullerton’s Cost and Consideration plan.
•    Moves new state employees to a modern, 401k style pension plan.
•    Public pension cost shift to schools, universities and local governments in exchange for financial relief from unfunded state mandates.
•    K-12 Pension Cost Shift – 5 year phase-in ($200 million/year - $1 billion after 5 years)
•    University Pension Cost Shift – Immediate (Offset by procurement reform and state mandate relief)
•    Refinancing current pension bonds – interest savings of $800 million goes to paying off old bills.

Medicaid Reforms
•    Smart Card Pilot Program
•    Prosecution of Vendor Fraud/3rd party vendor verification
•    Drug Screening
•    Discontinue taxpayer support for those with a criminal warrant
•    LINK Card photo
•    Upgrade Medicaid Redetermination Project – Check recipient status every 3 months instead of currently 6 months
•    Managed Care Changes

Government Reforms

•    Reduce the Local Government Distributive Fund (money to local governments) by about 4% of their total budget in exchange for financial relief from unfunded state mandates, government consolidation and constitutional amendment to allow “home rule” for smaller communities
•    Making sense of rules for purchasing goods and services – changing procurement
•    Overtime rule changes - Increased hiring in Corrections to reduce overtime costs
•    Reorganizing state government agencies – Historic Preservation into Natural Resources

 Attracting Job Creators to Illinois 

•    Workers’ Compensation Reforms – As currently being negotiated
•    New funding formula for schools
•    Permanent Property Tax Freeze on Education only and shift education funding from the property tax to state government.
•    Sunshine provision requiring copy of property tax bill to mortgagee
•    Local government mandate relief

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Call to ACTION

Let your Legislator know you want Illinois Government to live within its means just like you and your family!