Wheeler opposes current Senate budget deal
This week, Illinois Rep. Barbara Wheeler made clear she was not supportive of the newly proposed Senate Budget Plan as it stands.
“I think what I’ve seen proposed so far, and this was last week, is terrible,” Wheeler, the 32nd district state senator told the McHenry Times. She also noted she currently could and would not support the deal.
The plan proposed according to WQUAD 8 would do some damage to Illinois citizens.
“It would raise income taxes, borrow to pay off overdue bills, expand casino gambling and freeze local property taxes,” the station said on its website.
In detail, the Chicago Tribune gave statistics on these raises. The plan would “raise more money, the Senate would hike the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, charge a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, add six new casinos and borrow $7 billion to help pay down overdue bills.”
Wheeler detailed what she has seen on the plan.
“I believe that what I’ve seen is an expensive reform," she said. "I think the increases in taxes are unfathomable and I’m disappointed.”
In addition to tax raises, she noticed “term limits and some workman’s comp reform (that) barely scratched the surface.”
Wheeler wants to help Illinois citizens and not hurt them. She said she is pushing for “real reforms, not just pretend reforms they can hang their hat on.” She said Illinois citizens have to have something that is fair and of great worth.
Although Wheeler is not supportive of the current plan, she said she knows “it’s a work in progress. I hope there’s compromise, reform and cuts.” As far as she has noticed, this proposed plan has “no cuts as far as I can see.”
Hopeful and optimistic for a successful new plan, Wheeler applauds her peers for working so diligently on the deal.
“I appreciate the senate working on a budget plan and I know they are definitely doing it in a spirit of transparency,” she said. “I also do believe the senate will keep working toward compromises and keep pushing to get more cuts for the reforms.”
Wheeler made note that she worries about the state and this plan.
“This is going to come with a cost," she said. "Who is going to pay for it? Our pension reform is not real.”
In addition to the Senate Budget Deal, Wheeler spoke out about a newly proposed education plan.
“The education should be done by Feb. 1, and I heard the bill will be resolutions coming out of task force," she said. "Very soon.”
With the education funding bill, she explained she saw cuts in education, which represent poor decision-making for the school districts.
Democratic Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont are both working on the Senate Budget Deal and hope to have it out before lobbyists have opportunities “to kill parts of the plan," WQUAD 8 reported.
“Rauner has long said he would not sign off on a budget agreement unless it includes parts of his economic and political agenda, which he says will help spur business growth in Illinois," according to the Chicago Tribune. "To that end, the Senate plan includes some issues long pushed by Democrats and some backed by Rauner.”
Rauner and Cullerton are quick to push out a plan in order to move the state out of a two-year-long stalemate.