HARRISBURG, IL – Lawmakers heard from the Governor when he presented his annual “State of the State” address, while the Illinois Senate continued work on breaking the budgetary impasse, according to State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

Illinois Senate leaders continued their meetings on a large fiscal proposal which includes government and business reforms.

Fowler stressed he wants to be part of the solution and not part of the problem that has left Illinois without a steady budget since July 2015. He said that proposed tax increases in the package are a sticking point for himself and many other lawmakers.

“The taxpayers should not be hit with another tax increase, particularly without massive cuts to government spending and significant reforms to provide relief for working families and employers. Our constituents are demanding change. They want the size of Illinois government reduced, not the ‘business as usual mentality’ that has been the hallmark of Illinois government for far too long,” Fowler said.

Prior to the current gubernatorial administration, legislative Democrats passed 12 consecutive unbalanced budgets that relied on a number of fiscally irresponsible revenue sources and increased borrowing. As a result, following the Blagojevich and Quinn administrations Illinois was left with a massive structural deficit which will take years to reduce.

However, Senator Fowler said he was encouraged when a proposed “soda” tax was taken out of the initial budget framework. He noted that proposed tax increase would have been detrimental to several employers in the 59th Senate District, and led to higher prices for Illinois consumers.

“We have to generate revenue through jobs and not just through taxation. A tax-and-spend mentality does not work, which was proven after the 2011 tax increase which still left Illinois facing a billion dollar bill backlog and fiscal instability,” Fowler said. “Let’s make Illinois businesses more competitive. Let’s put the taxpayers first. Let’s put more money in their pockets rather than take it out. We need to be talking more about economic opportunities and less about taxing our way out of this situation.”

Legislative leaders are hoping to take votes on the legislative package when the Illinois Senate reconvenes Feb. 7. Senator Fowler concluded by saying, “the needs of the 59th District will come first and my votes will reflect their priorities.”

Dale Fowler

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