* Press release…
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association applauds the leadership of Senate President John Cullerton, Republican Leader Christine Radogno and their caucuses for taking a thoughtful and comprehensive first step in an effort to finally end the budget stalemate and once again make Illinois an economic engine.
The IMA’s Board of Directors believe, and we have stated for the last two years, that any final solution must actually solve our state’s problems by eliminating the massive debt, reducing our crushing pension debt, restoring fiscal discipline, and creating a strong business climate that will attract private sector jobs and investment. The proposed legislation outlined by the leaders earlier this week begins to move in that direction.
Last year, the IMA unveiled five key tenets in our Middle Class Manufacturing Agenda that include (1) a balanced budget and pension reform, (2) economic development reform including meaningful changes to workers’ compensation, (3) tax reform to create a broad base with low rates reflecting a modern society, (4) property tax relief, and (5) strengthening our education and workforce development system to ensure a pipeline of qualified workers.
Many of our reforms are partially incorporated into this framework but there are more steps on this journey to reverse years of fiscal mismanagement and job stifling regulations. We now encourage Governor Rauner and the leadership of the General Assembly to seek input from all interested parties as they craft the final version of this sweeping legislation.
Today, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association reaffirms our commitment to work with Governor Rauner and lawmakers to solve this historic challenge and move Illinois forward.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over and the IMA is obviously not following the Illinois Chamber’s complete opposition to every aspect of the package.
So, a tiny bit of good news for a change.
By the way, the press release was issued shortly after Senate President Cullerton told the chamber to expect to start voting on the package when they return in two weeks.
* And Sen. Brady continues to be a voice of moderation and hope…
Despite the delay, state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said that he, like Rauner, remains optimistic.
“What’s important here is that we do it right,” Brady said. “Now, we don’t have a lot of time, in my opinion, but we have enough time, I think, to continue to work on it.”