* Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Mackey interviews Rep. Jeanne Ives…
Mackey: Do you think it’s possible to balance the budget with the old tax rate — could we forego the current income tax rate? Is that something Illinois could do?
Ives: That’s a great, fantastic question. You know it takes decades — years — for people to really understand the Illinois budget, because it’s so convoluted. But I think that we didn’t try hard enough to make the cuts that need to be made first. That’s what I’m worried about. And I think we didn’t try hard enough to use for the reforms that we have to have.
And I’ll tell you what: I’ve said it before, but the reason you would raise taxes in the state of Illinois is because it’s immoral to hold the amount of debt that we have, and owe people that kind of money. That would be the only reason to do it. But you have to make those reforms, so we don’t get into this bad spending cycle again. And you know, I just don’t think that the conversation was lengthy enough and persistent enough to sell to the people that you cannot raise taxes without these reforms.
Editor’s note: We asked the Rauner campaign if it wanted to respond to Ives’ charge that the governor lied to supporters and taxpayers on public funding for abortions, the Trust Act, and school funding reform.
Spokesman Justin Giorgio emailed the following statement: “Gov. Rauner is focused on fighting for Illinois’ future and defeating Mike Madigan’s machine so Illinois can have property tax relief and term limits, and we can roll back the Madigan income tax hike.”