State Representative David Allen Welter, R-Morris, issued the following statement today in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s Budget Address delivered to a joint session of the General Assembly:
“I am disappointed that Governor Pritzker placed so much emphasis on blaming Illinois’ woes on the previous governor instead of being honest about how our state’s fiscal problems mounted for decades, while simultaneously being quick to take credit for Illinois’ low unemployment and current positive economic trends. What I wanted to hear most from the Governor was his commitment to making property tax relief his priority this year. Unfortunately, the Governor did not mention property taxes today. Local families know just how heavy our property tax burden is. Illinois’ population has been shrinking year-after-year in large part because of high property taxes. We have to make Illinois a more affordable place to live and do business, and we cannot do that without meaningful property tax relief.
I do support the Governor’s call to significantly increase funding for mental health and addiction treatment services, funded in part by revenue from recreational cannabis sales. Whether or not you supported legalization of adult use cannabis, we should all agree that tax revenue derived from it should go to support important causes like mental health services and addiction treatment. I also want to work with the Governor to protect our local energy industry. Not only do jobs in the energy industry stimulate Illinois’ labor income and employment, they also provide huge amounts to the local property tax base, supporting our school districts, higher education and local government services. 2020 is poised to be a pivotal year on energy issues and I intend to work with the Governor to keep Illinois’ energy industry strong.”