Candidate: Any legislator who doesn't fight Madigan budget plan 'should be fired'
Even though it ultimately died in the state Senate, the budget plan proposed by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Dist. 22) on May 25 was an insult to the taxpayers and citizens of Illinois, Mike Amrozowicz, a Republican running for the state Senate Dist. 31 seat, said.
“The budget submitted by the Democrats is beyond insulting,” Amrozowicz told the Lake County Gazette. “They want to pass a budget that far exceeds revenues and then ask the residents of Illinois to pay for it by increasing their taxes. So in essence, they admit that the state is overspending, but instead of taking responsibility, they want the taxpayers to carry the burden of government mismanagement of the state's finances.”
Amrozowicz compares the state’s spending to the reckless expenses of a family spending more than it makes, then asking their employers for a raise.
“Imagine an Illinois family having their spending exceeding their income due to reckless spending and then going to their employer and saying, 'Look, I have been irresponsible with my spending, and my bills are 50 percent more than I am earning. So I need you to increase my salary to cover my spending binge.' Anyone who did that would be fired,” Amrozowicz said.
Madigan's plan, which was unbalanced by more than $7 billion, would have required that the state income tax rate go up to 5.5 percent, which translates to a $1,000 annual increase for the average Illinois family. Madigan’s plan also would have caused a nine-month delay in paying bills. The state already has paid more than $900 million in late fees over the past six years.
“Our state legislators think they can spend money without pause and go to their employers, the Illinois taxpayers, and ask for similar revenues,” Amrozowicz said. “In the final analysis, any state legislator that not only supports this budget, but doesn't fight it vehemently, should be fired.”
The budget stalemate and increasingly high taxes already have affected Illinois: Businesses are leaving. In fact, Illinois was voted the worst state in the Midwest for businesses on a survey conducted by Chief Executive Magazine. The state also was ranked third worst in the nation for business-friendliness. Many of the complaints from business owners are echoed by Amrozowicz.
“Considering we are the only state in the Midwest with negative job growth, we need to create an environment that attracts and keeps businesses in Illinois,” Amrozowicz said. “The solutions are simple: workers' comp reform, a sensible tax structure and balanced budgets will provide employers with the confidence they need to set up shop here in Illinois."
Businesses are not the only group exiting the state. Families are having trouble coping with the high tax rates and unemployment numbers. Prospective college students, fearing uncertainty due to unemployment and the budget stalemate, are now looking elsewhere for their higher education.
Many colleges and universities statewide are experiencing a drop in college enrollments. Students are flocking to nearby states because tuition and the cost of living are cheaper.
Amrozowicz wants to address this exodus before it is too late.
“One of my goals upon being elected is to determine why the cost of in-state tuition, and room and board are significantly higher at the University of Illinois/Champaign-Urbana than in most schools of comparable ranking,” Amrozowicz said.