SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 14, 2018 – The facts are staggering. Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills remains over $8.5 billion. Late interest payments owed exceeds $1 billion. Unfunded public pension obligations have reached $130 billion. Illinois' credit rating is 50th in the nation and near junk bond status.
Yet, Governor Rauner's proposed budget does not include a long term fiscal plan that would launch the journey toward making Illinois' fiscal situation stable. The proposed 2019 fiscal plan does not do nearly enough to protect Illinois citizens 50+, their families and our children who themselves will be burdened by this debt if leaders do not pass a solution now.
Daily challenges are faced everyday with Illinoisans paying the nation's highest property taxes, imposed with increasing local and state fees, higher utilities rates, and struggling with an increasing cost of living. Illinoisans continue to encounter tremendous job losses as businesses and social service providers close their doors or reduce their hours and become unable to further extend the credit used to cover the state's unpaid bills.
Enough is Enough!
Governor Rauner, Illinois' General Assembly leadership, and all House and Senate members must cooperate and compromise and find a comprehensive solution. Elected officials must ensure our frailest elders receive dignified care they have earned through many decades working supporting the well-being and security of Illinois and our nation; Illinois schoolchildren receive a great education no matter where they live; guarantee our public universities are top notch and affordable; our roads, bridges, buildings, sidewalks and all other infrastructure are safe/maintained; and assure Illinois businesses have the tools and workforce needed to strengthen and improve our economy.
Illinois has suffered long enough through a prolonged state fiscal crisis impacting residents of all ages. Illinoisans throughout the state must mobilize and put pressure on their elected officials to work towards a balanced state budget. Enough is Enough for we must restore Illinois to its fiscal health and protect Illinois residents.
Visit http://enoughisenough.aarp.org and join us to raise your voice and demand action toward a long-term comprehensive solution.
Submitted by Ryan Gruenenfelder, Director of Advocacy and Outreach
SOURCE AARP Illinois
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