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CTU response to IL House override of Rauner budget veto

by Stacy Davis Gates - CTU Legislative and Political Director  |  07/07/2017

The budget that was finally passed today with bi-partisan support can -- at best -- be described as Rauner's austerity budget. Even after all of the pain that everyday Illinois residents have suffered over the last two years of cutbacks, and all of the hard work that legislators put into this deal, Rauner’s austerity budget still doesn’t include the revenue that our state’s people need. On top of that, unless Rauner signs SB1, the new school funding formula, every school district in Illinois will receive NO STATE FUNDING for the upcoming school year -- making it critical that he sign SB1 immediately.  

We have the governor to thank for the mess our state is in. Rauner drew a ridiculous line in the sand on the campaign trail, driving our state even deeper in debt than before he took office -- while the terms of this final budget are decidedly right-of-center.

While this budget closes some corporate loopholes, eases an income tax hike for low-income families by increasing the state earned income tax credit, and raises taxes on corporations who can well afford to pay more of their fair share, it still falls short of adequately funding frontline human needs like education. Millionaires and billionaires like Rauner must pay their fair share of taxes -- and that means paying more. Today’s budget doesn't close the unfair loophole that lets Wall Street money managers like Rauner’s billionaire hedge fund donor Ken Griffin dodge paying their fair share of taxes, leaving anywhere from a half billion to almost $2 billion dollars on the table. The LaSalle Street Tax alone would be enough to pay the state’s backlog of bills from the last two years!

It is unacceptable for Mayor Emanuel to use Rauner's austerity budget as a political shield to justify playing the same role as the governor -- or, for that matter, “emergency managers” in Flint and Detroit who’ve robbed public services of precious public dollars. Even when SB1 becomes law, it won’t be enough to sustain Chicago’s public schools. It’s time for Mayor Emanuel to work with the City Council to kick in more support to our school communities by reinstating the Corporate Head Tax and putting the dollars stashed in Emanuel’s TIF slush fund back into frontline public education where those dollars belong. Draining the TIF surplus that has robbed our neighborhood public schools for years and reinstating the Corporate Head Tax will help to ameliorate the cuts that Emanuel has already inflicted on our school communities AND will prevent Emanuel from cutting even more from our school communities for this upcoming school year.

Chicago Teachers Union