Fundamental changes are needed to turn around Illinois and Senator Jim Oberweis has signed on to co-sponsor Governor Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda bills that aim to expand job opportunities, fix the corrupt political system and mend a failing state economy.
“Fundamental change – back-to-basic rebuilding – is necessary to get Illinois back on track. Our state is at a critical fiscal and economic crossroads,” Senator Oberweis said. “As a businessman, I appreciate that Governor Rauner is a businessman and is bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to the state’s fiscal condition.”
With the scheduled end of the 2015 session looming, a major package of legislation (SB 884, SB 994, SB 1046, SJRCA 14, and SJRCA 15) was introduced on May 22 that would:
• Freeze Illinois property taxes: currently the second highest of any state
o Supports local control: option to increase through local referendum
• Improve Illinois’ business climate: recently ranked third worst in the country
o Workers’ compensation reform
o Lawsuit reform
• Reform State Government: Illinois called “worst-run state in the country” last year
o Constitutional amendment establishing term limits for legislators and executive officeholders – Illinois would join 15 other states with term limits
o Redistricting reform – Constitutional amendment to create an independent commission for fair and balanced districts
“Thanks to years of tax-and-spend government under former Governors Blagojevich and Quinn, Illinois’ finances are a mess and the fiscal decisions we face are tough at best,” Senator Oberweis said, “So how do we turn things around? Two words: economic growth. The Rauner Administration has made job creation a priority, and these bills will go a long way to foster an economic climate that encourages job creation and growth in Illinois.”
The 25th District Senator says instead of participating in good-faith negotiations repeatedly offered by Governor Rauner and Republican lawmakers, Democrat leaders have stalled, played political games, and used the approaching end-of-session deadline as a negotiating tactic to support the same type of bloated, broken budgets they’ve advanced over the last 12 years.
“I have been serving on the Governor’s Working Group committee, consisting of two Republican and two Democrat Senators as well as two Republican and two Democrat Representatives. While the committee meetings were generally cordial and many suggestions were incorporated into our proposed legislation, it was very difficult to get the Democrat Representatives to agree to compromise on the issues,” Senator Oberweis said. “The next couple of weeks – perhaps months – are going to be very interesting.”