SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address:

“In his budget address for the upcoming fiscal year, the governor has once again failed to present the General Assembly with a reasonable plan to address the fiscal challenges facing our state.

The governor fails to outline a plan to address the state’s backlog of old bills, invest in struggling communities, and he undermines the gains we made to increase funding for our schools. The reality is that under his administration Illinois accumulated $17 billion in old bills and it is essential that we lay out a realistic budget framework that restores stability in our great state.

I’m disappointed the governor attempted to fix the budget mess he created by attacking the hard-earned retirement of teachers and state and community college professors. These hard working professionals help shape the minds of our future leaders and the promises made to them should be kept.

It’s also unfortunate that this governor is making cuts to services crucial to our communities. He’s decided to cut funding from programming vital to providing opportunities to at-risk populations, including Teen Reach and the Youth Employment Program, which help keep our kids off the street and teaches them the importance of hard work.

Governor Rauner has mentioned many times throughout his term that he wants our state to be compassionate. I think it’s well past time that he finally show some of that compassion to working families.”

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