Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?

Budget

No. Not if we hope to maintain even the most basic minimum services. The budget crisis of the past couple of years, coupled with the slow recovery from the 2008 economic downturn have reduced most spending to the barest essentials, if that.

No. There are too many financial loss centers. Leaders within the state need to recognize that it is the state's obligation to provide services to its citizens although it balances the losses absorbed in doing so against revenue that it collects in the form of taxes.

No. There are too many financial loss centers. Leaders within the state need to recognize that it is the state's obligation to provide services to its citizens although it balances the losses absorbed in doing so against revenue that it collects in the form of taxes.

To me, new sources of revenue comes out of Illinois residents' pockets. I feel that we can balance a budget more effectively if we had a progressive tax plan.

There must be a increase in revenue sources or new sources to be identified. New sources are very limited.

To me, new sources of revenue comes out of Illinois residents' pockets. I feel that we can balance a budget more effectively if we had a progressive tax plan.

Yes. We don't have a revenue problem...we have a spending and selfishness problem. We can solve this problem by reforming how we spend the money we have in every area of government. Most notably, approximately 25% of our budget goes to pay pension costs for public sector union employees. This is unsustainable and must be reformed---both for the benefit of the private sector taxpayer and for the public-sector employee who has been promised a future that is likely not mathematically possible or fair to sustain. It's not a matter of funding, it is a matter of fairness. We must move to a constitutionally sound defined-contribution system for state employees.

We must also reform our Medicaid spending, another major driver of our budgetary costs. Among other things, we need to ensure that Medicaid is available only to those whom the program was intended to protect, lower costs by leveraging our buying power, and finally address the rampant fraud and abuse in the system, per many within medicine who see it firsthand.

The State's budget needs to be balanced with no new sources of revenue. The more money given to Springfield, the more money will be spent. More revenues does not translate into a balanced budget.

Yes I do. The State needs to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in each and every department of government before anyone or any entity is asked to pay additional taxes.

It's impossible for anyone to answer that question with 100% certainty. It is my goal to go to Springfield and help to find efficiency, cut waste, reform spending, and identify priorities for state government. Priorities should be funded, and non-essential programs should be reduced or eliminated. After we've done that, we can discuss tax rates. I continue to believe we spend too much and tax too much, but we should also be mature enough to realize getting out of this hole the politicians have created won't be solved overnight.

Yes. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Raising taxes on the backs of families and taxpayers should not be an option any longer.

It must be. The leadership just gave it an infusion with no real budget negotiations.

Absolutely! Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Career politicians have failed to make the necessary cuts and prioritize spending. Our priorities should be to maximize our government's efficiency and provide services, where necessary, to the great citizens of Illinois.

There is no track record that shows that new revenue helps balance the budget. Just the opposite occurs. When Governor Pat Quinn pushed through a tax increase in 2011 he promised that it would be short term and that it would go to pay our bills. Quinn and the legislature proceeded to increase spending and at the end of the "short term" we had even greater debt. In addition, many of our businesses and wealthy individuals fled the state for places like Florida to avoid the heavy taxation. The new tax increase passed last year will have the same result.

Yes. Illinois doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. We need to enact real spending cuts, real government reforms - including pension reform - and policies that spur economic growth in order to have a balanced budget both now and in the future.

The state budget must be balanced without tax hikes or other forms of new revenue. Illinois taxpayers face some of the highest taxes in the nation. Asking taxpayers to fork over more of their hard-earned income just so they can pay for the same corrupt government is wrong. To balance the budget, we must cut spending, consolidate government at all levels, and create more good-paying, middle class jobs, therefore thereby increasing the tax base.

Yes. Well, what counts as new? First, I believe Illinois should modify the way it collects taxes. This will be addressed in my answer to your later question about taxation. Second, we must hold companies that have government contracts accountable. Where private companies have overcharged and under-provided, we should hold the companies liable for breach of contract, collect revenue from them, and develop more vertically integrated systems to save money. Reliance on private, for-profit companies is in direct conflict with providing government services efficiently.

Yes, I do. The legislature just passed a tax increase so it is really not an option to raise them again. I am committed to all constituents who have made the sacrifice to work hard daily, pay their bills on time and pay taxes. They have done their part so it is up to us to make it work with the resources we have. I am committed to a policy of structural reform, regulation relief and lowering taxes to both reduce our expenses and allow the free market to drive an increase in our revenue sources.

As I've spoken with hundreds of families across the 59th district, it is clear that they are looking for their state representative to be a tireless advocate for the taxpayer. They are also desperate for leaders who can build consensus across the aisle to solve our toughest challenges. It is possible to pass a balance budget without endlessly raising taxes on the hardworking taxpayers in our communities.

The McCarter- McConchie budget proposal wasn't perfect, but it was refreshingly honest about the gravity of our problem. The problem in Illinois is not a lack of revenue (state government collected over thirty-three billion dollars in tax revenues last year), but rather a failure of our elected officials to make responsible spending promises. The solution will require enacting pro-growth economic and regulatory reforms. Lawmakers must recognize that policies that drive businesses and families to other states will make it impossible for the State to fund its social welfare and pension obligations. Springfield should encourage businesses to stay in Illinois, to build in Illinois, and to move here. By growing our economy, we can effectively grow the tax base without sweeping proposals for new revenue.

Yes, this state does not have a revenue problem, our career politicians have a spending problem. We need true business reforms that will benefit all Illinoisans and lead to job creation and more of a tax base. Creating further sources of revenue in Illinois helps Madigan's Government Insiders, but hurts the great citizens of this state. We need Representatives that go to Springfield to stand up for all of Illinois, not just a few select individuals.

I do believe that the budget can be balanced moving forward without adding new sources of revenue. Illinois has never had a revenue problem, rather we have a spending problem. I propose we follow the penny plan idea that Rep. Connie Mack and Sen. Mike Enzi introduced to the federal government in 2011. The 1 Percent Solution is simple as it sounds. The reduction will come from spending, not the baseline budget. If we introduce this legislation in Illinois then next year's outlays will be 1% less than this year's, and so on. We will continue this until we have cut 6% of our spending and put a cap on our spending of no more the 18% of the GDP.

Yes, I tend to believe it can. Again, drawing from previous experience, an association I recently led had a significant drop in revenue and membership over the last 15 years. We desperately tried adding additional sources of revenue but were not successful. We made steep cuts, lost staff, and passed several deficit budgets to "sound the alarm" to our members. Recently, we decided to liquidate assets, sell the office building we have owned since 1976 and restructure the staff benefits and compensation. Frankly, I wish the leadership in Illinois could learn from actions like these because families and small businesses get creative all the time to make their money and budgets work. "Forcing yourself to use restricted means is the sort of restraint that liberates invention. It obliges you to make progress you can't even imagine in advance." (Pablo Picasso)

I believe it is possible to balance the budget without tax or fee increases. Illinois taxpayers were recently hit with another tax hike, and we were told it was necessary to balanced the budget. We were lied to. It's clear that lawmakers have refused to keep our spending and pension obligations in check with tax revenue, letting our state's finances deteriorate over many years. We need real spending cuts and major reforms to create jobs and change the structure of state government if we want to get our state back on track.

The budget has to be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue. Right now we are losing population for the fourth consecutive year in a row. I walk door to door and talk with families that tell me their exit strategies and attribute it to overwhelmingly high taxes. Given Illinois has the highest tax burden in the nation I do not see how we can ask any more of our families and businesses. I am running for State Representative to keep families in our state and I will do this by working to repeal the 32% increase in income taxes and by supporting a 1% cap on property taxes.

No. The state's structural deficit means that we will need new revenue to fund current programs.

Probably not, but at the same time, I also believe that a balanced budget is possible without imposing significant new taxes or making extreme cuts to important programs. The existing debt obligations have created a dangerous and compounding interest akin to only paying a maxed out credit card's minimum monthly payments, while the interest charged next period practically negates all progress.

The hole that Springfield dug now makes it even more expensive to borrow money. We cannot borrow our way out of debt -- that only perpetuates the vicious cycle. I will also not let any sort of austerity measures advance because the people who rely on social programs are certainly not at fault for our budgetary problems. And, put simply, I believe Illinoisans are taxed out and I do not want to raise taxes any further. Accordingly, before examining new sources of revenue, state government needs to be streamlined and run competently. Eliminate as much waste as possible before looking for new sources of revenue, and ensure each tax dollar has the greatest possible impact. We owe it to the taxpayers to make sure their money is being spent efficiently before asking them for any more.

By applying Common Sense and Common Courtesy to Everyone in my analysis of legislation, I think this can be done.

No, I do not think that the state budget can be balanced going without new sources of revenue. The fact is that - even after this past summer's tax increase - we have a nearly $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills and unfunded pension liabilities of over $120 billion. We must make hard decisions that include new revenues.

First and foremost, our state needs stability. It will be very difficult to balance the budget going forward without additional and stable sources of revenue. We need to confront the structural imbalances between revenue and expenses in a sustainable and permanent way that reflects a real commitment to put Illinois back on the right track; this may mean making hard decisions in the short term that pay off in the long turn.

Yes, I believe we have increased State revenue to a sufficient level to begin to get the budget under control and balance. Illinois needs a period of fiscal stability for the near future

No. I don't believe that enough is left to cut from the budget to close the structural deficit. Therefore, it will be absolutely necessary to find new sources of revenue to set the state's fiscal house in order.

No. Some new revenue is necessary for a holistic approach to balancing the budget.

No, there is a structural imbalance from making required pension payments and digging out of the mess from the past few years.

I do believe that we can work together to come up with bipartisan solutions in order to balance the budget going forward. We need to look at the costs of our state and examine possible new revenue sources. At this point, I do not believe the answer lies in any new taxes to burden working families in Illinois. We have to sit down in a bipartisan fashion and work together to come up with new solutions to our budget problems.

Illinois could probably limp along for a few more years without additional sources of revenue, but to do so would be a monumental error that threatens our very ability to provide government in the future. Illinois is at a crucial juncture in its history. The anchor around our neck is the unfunded pension debt. I want to stress that this is not the fault of the employees of the State of Illinois. While predecessors were probably too generous in many of the contracts that they negotiated with the public service unions (but we should not be mad at them as representing their members is their function, and we certainly should not be mad at the worker's that served our state). We made a deal, and they have every right to rely on it. The full blame goes to the Governors that negotiated these contracts and the legislators that simply failed to fund it.

No state has funded their pension systems to a lesser degree than IL, where our state pensions are on average only about 39% funded. The state estimates the unfunded debt at about 135 billion dollars and Moody's (who may still place us on junk bond status) estimated it at closer to 250 billion. If we take a figure in the middle, that is about $40,000 that is owed by every working person in IL. The scariest part is that the amount we are required to pay towards the pension liability for the state increases substantially each year (it was placed on a ramp back in 1994 with the consent of Gov. Edgar and the democratic legislature, and that ramp has only gotten steeper due to a multitude of reasons). Last year the required payment was about 9 billion dollars, which was about 25% of our own state source general revenue. In a little less than ten years the required payment will double, meaning that at current revenue levels the pension obligation will by itself eat up 50% of our revenues. That leaves absolutely inadequate amounts for all of the other functions that government is supposed to provide (education, social services, the environment, infrastructure, etc.)

I call this problem Inter-Generational theft. By not adequately addressing these pensions for so long we have effectively stolen from our children. As it stands now, they will be burdened by high taxes and will get the benefit of only minimal levels of government services. As a result, I feel that the only honest solution to this problem is to make funding the pension a first priority. To be clear, I want the State of IL to pay MORE than is required each year into the pension funds. As a result I favor cutting expenses where we can, and raising additional revenue (see below). I would also INSIST that these additional funds be paid annually into the pension funds themselves so that we will not have mortgaged the future of our children and our state to such a shameful extent.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes, but it requires a growing economy, a growing tax base, and judicious reductions in state spending. Tax increases are, and always have been, a short-sighted, short term Band-Aid to our budget problem. In fact, the most recent tax increase didn't even truly balance the budget for the year in which it was enacted given that the revenue projections that underpinned the budget were nearly one billion dollars short of where they needed to be. The state must adopt a posture that is open to enacting substantial reforms, and cuts, that will reduce the cost of government and avoid reactionary, panic-driven tax increases that cause further damage to the state's economic climate. The size and scope of government in Illinois is what must be addressed. The only way to fix Illinois is to create an environment where people are working here, living here, and paying their taxes and lawmakers finally govern in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.

Yes, but it requires a growing economy, a growing tax base, and judicious reductions in state spending. Tax increases are, and always have been, a short-sighted, short term Band-Aid to our budget problem. In fact, the most recent tax increase didn't even truly balance the budget for the year in which it was enacted given that the revenue projections that underpinned the budget were nearly one billion dollars short of where they needed to be. The state must adopt a posture that is open to enacting substantial reforms, and cuts, that will reduce the cost of government and avoid reactionary, panic-driven tax increases that cause further damage to the state's economic climate. The size and scope of government in Illinois is what must be addressed. The only way to fix Illinois is to create an environment where people are working here, living here, and paying their taxes and lawmakers finally govern in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.

No. Not only no, but hell no. If I elected I will never vote for a tax increase. I will present legislation for part time positions to take a 50% cut in pay, no benefits and no pensions. The golden benefits for politicians have caused us these monetary problems.

No. The state's structural deficit means that we will need new revenue to fund current programs.

Illinois cannot cut its way out of our fiscal mess. The only funds available for cutting are general revenue funds. Once you take out "hard costs" (things like debt service, which are required by the Constitution), 90% of remaining general revenue is spent on education, health care, social services, and public safety. Each of those areas has been underfunded in Illinois. While I think we need to be efficient and make cuts where we can, there is no way to cut enough to balance the budget. We need to reform our tax system so that we ease the burden on working class families while at the same time increase revenue from making the rich pay their fair share.

The State of Illinois needs a system of stable and predictable revenues to support the essential operations of state government. I do not believe we can achieve that without new sources of revenue.

We need new sources of income to balance the Illinois budget. New voices in Springfield, better collaborative, and innovative ideas will be key. To become a stable state where residents can rely on adequate levels of support and funding, we must have more effective management of current revenue, AND we must generate new revenue. Illinois is pretty lean in key areas compared to many states; we spend the least percentage (less than adequate) on schools of any state in the union, spend less per patient on Medicaid than many states, and have fewer state workers per capita than any other state. I am open to trimming spending but not for key public/social services or critical systems of support. I'd like to focus on collaborating with legislators to find ways to increase revenue.

Yes, but not without making draconian cuts that would be damaging to Illinois. I will detail how I would address the budget in the next questions.

I believe the budget can be balanced if everyone in Springfield works together.

Yes, but not without making draconian cuts that would be damaging to Illinois. I will detail how I would address the budget in the next questions.

We need new sources of income to balance the Illinois budget. New voices in Springfield, better collaborative, and innovative ideas will be key. To become a stable state where residents can rely on adequate levels of support and funding, we must have more effective management of current revenue, AND we must generate new revenue. Illinois is pretty lean in key areas compared to many states; we spend the least percentage (less than adequate) on schools of any state in the union, spend less per patient on Medicaid than many states, and have fewer state workers per capita than any other state. I am open to trimming spending but not for key public/social services or critical systems of support. I'd like to focus on collaborating with legislators to find ways to increase revenue.

I believe the budget can be balanced if everyone in Springfield works together.

No, it can't. The math doesn't add up.

I think new sources of revenue must be a part of the solution. I think we need to be very careful not to overburden already overtaxed working and middle-class families but ideas for new revenue at least need to be on the table.

I think new sources of revenue must be a part of the solution. I think we need to be very careful not to overburden already overtaxed working and middle-class families but ideas for new revenue at least need to be on the table.

It would be extremely difficult to get a balanced budget without new revenues. Spending cuts are necessary, yet not enough to get the budget back under control. The costs incurred in running our government combined with our backlog of outstanding and unpaid bills owed to our vendors and pensioners are too high.

Id like to say yes but the truth is I doubt it. The years of piled up debt is probably too big to solve without new taxes. I would propose taxing the wealthy before taxing the middle class.

That may take several budget cycles, and it will take creative thinking, but I believe it can be done.

It would be extremely difficult to get a balanced budget without new revenues. Spending cuts are necessary, yet not enough to get the budget back under control. The costs incurred in running our government combined with our backlog of outstanding and unpaid bills owed to our vendors and pensioners are too high.

The State budget can potentially be balanced without new sources of revenue. To create a balance budget our government needs to commit to not letting our expenses rise above revenue. Until we tighten loopholes and stop transferring funds from fully funded accounts we will never accurately know if we need additional sources of revenue or not.

The State budget can potentially be balanced without new sources of revenue. To create a balance budget our government needs to commit to not letting our expenses rise above revenue. Until we tighten loopholes and stop transferring funds from fully funded accounts we will never accurately know if we need additional sources of revenue or not.

No, I do not believe the budget can be balanced without new sources of revenue.

I do not believe so. New revenue is required to balance the budget while ensuring that bargained for benefits are not summarily stripped away from the hardworking individuals who have and are performing their end of the bargain by providing services for the people of the state. I do see a way to "cut" the state's way to a balanced budget. Even with new revenue without a focus on a bigger plan for solvency the state will not have a balanced budget in coming years. It has to be new revenue and a focus on responsibly paying the state's debt.

In time, yes- if we adopt open and transparent accounting measures to see where our expenditures are going, and hold people and programs accountable for that spending. To date, Illinois is one of the least transparent governments in the USA, and our rating in the banking world confirms that we are "high risk".

I think that Illinois' deficits are greater than currently acknowledged. As regards the pension payments, the discrepancy between the required retirement payment and the actuarial correct payment plus the discrepancy between the estimated rate of return and the actual rate of return have created a much larger deficit than is currently acknowledged. Since I think that the budget crisis is larger I think we need more revenue.

Even though a budget was passed for FY 2018, the accumulated debt is still around $16 billion, and Illinois' credit rating is still miserable. I believe that it would be irresponsible not to explore new sources of revenue going forward.

Response: I do believe that the budget can be balanced without new sources of revenue. However, this will require difficult decision making with the right priorities in mind. We must not abandon programs and services that provide a safety net for the most fragile of our people. But it also means that spending that has not proven to provide results of value has to stop. We can still do much better at eliminating fraud and waste in government programs. This would include continuing to reduce the number of individuals that we feed, house and provide costly health care for in prisons across the state. It has been proven that we can punish many more offenders in community setting at much less cost without adversely effecting public safety. Right sizing prisons and other state run institutions would considerably reduce spending pressures.

No. I believe we have a structural deficit, which has plagued Illinois for many years. Residents of Illinois generally express little support for the huge program and spending cuts necessary to balance the budget without additional revenue. I've read editorials urging cutting spending but there are rarely any specifics about the extent of program, service, and the fundamental reductions in the role of state government that would be necessary to get to a balanced budget without new revenue. It would be helpful if the Tribune and other publishers held themselves and others accountable for the specific cuts they would support so the public could judge which way they want to go.

We can no longer operate or balance a budget with a flat income tax. I also believe that Illinois should create new revenue through progressive means.

No. I believe we have a structural deficit, which has plagued Illinois for many years. Residents of Illinois generally express little support for the huge program and spending cuts necessary to balance the budget without additional revenue. I've read editorials urging cutting spending but there are rarely any specifics about the extent of program, service, and the fundamental reductions in the role of state government that would be necessary to get to a balanced budget without new revenue. It would be helpful if the Tribune and other publishers held themselves and others accountable for the specific cuts they would support so the public could judge which way they want to go.

We first need a fair tax system that ensures that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share and closes corporate tax loopholes for the most profitable companies. The budget should not be balanced on the backs of the middle-class and the most vulnerable.

No, we need more revenue. We should tax and regulate marijuana and find other creative ways to generate revenue.

In time, yes- if we adopt open and transparent accounting measures to see where our expenditures are going, and hold people and programs accountable for that spending. To date, Illinois is one of the least transparent governments in the USA, and our rating in the banking world confirms that we are "high risk".

We first need a fair tax system that ensures that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share and closes corporate tax loopholes for the most profitable companies. The budget should not be balanced on the backs of the middle-class and the most vulnerable.

No, we need more revenue. We should tax and regulate marijuana and find other creative ways to generate revenue.

I believe that we must live within our financial means in Illinois and make the necessary cost reductions to do so, but also generate the appropriate revenue to fund our key priorities €“ educating our children, providing healthcare to the most vulnerable and elderly, and keeping residents safe. If we destroy the cornerstones of our safety net and the hallmarks of a true democracy, we will all pay the price for years to come.

We need to take the same approach with our deficit at the state level as I took when President of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board, where we faced a $128M deficit over eight years. In District 65, we first looked internally at where we could reduce costs. Next, we worked with our community partners to improve and expand programs through innovative partnerships. We then brought all of our employee groups together and negotiated a restructure of our compensation structure to slow the pace of expense growth and connect it to our growth in revenue. Only then did we go to the community for the first time in 30 years to increase funding for our schools because we had attracted 1,500 new students. The community responded with 80% support for our schools. This is a perfect example of shared sacrifice and how taking shared responsibility can work.

I believe that we must live within our financial means in Illinois and make the necessary cost reductions to do so, but also generate the appropriate revenue to fund our key priorities €“ educating our children, providing healthcare to the most vulnerable and elderly, and keeping residents safe. If we destroy the cornerstones of our safety net and the hallmarks of a true democracy, we will all pay the price for years to come.

We need to take the same approach with our deficit at the state level as I took when President of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board, where we faced a $128M deficit over eight years. In District 65, we first looked internally at where we could reduce costs. Next, we worked with our community partners to improve and expand programs through innovative partnerships. We then brought all of our employee groups together and negotiated a restructure of our compensation structure to slow the pace of expense growth and connect it to our growth in revenue. Only then did we go to the community for the first time in 30 years to increase funding for our schools because we had attracted 1,500 new students. The community responded with 80% support for our schools. This is a perfect example of shared sacrifice and how taking shared responsibility can work.

Yes. However this would be with considerable pain and would have a negative long term effect on our finances. Predictions of shrinking revenues and continued increase in required payments to the pension funds will put additional pressure on core spending. Further cuts to K-12 education will move us farther from the equitable funding of education that we have as our goal. We have cut state agencies so much that they cannot accomplish their core missions. We balanced the budget by returning the tax to 4.95% AND making $3 billion in additional cuts. If necessary we can make more, although I believe that will only worsen our financial outlook and not improve it.

Yes. However this would be with considerable pain and would have a negative long term effect on our finances. Predictions of shrinking revenues and continued increase in required payments to the pension funds will put additional pressure on core spending. Further cuts to K-12 education will move us farther from the equitable funding of education that we have as our goal. We have cut state agencies so much that they cannot accomplish their core missions. We balanced the budget by returning the tax to 4.95% AND making $3 billion in additional cuts. If necessary we can make more, although I believe that will only worsen our financial outlook and not improve it.

Not as long as we have the same lawmakers in office we have today. The more we bring in, the more they spend.

I believe the state budget can be balanced without any tax increases or new sources of revenue. For years, state government spending has outpaced growth of the Illinois economy, and therefore our tax base. The perpetual increases in spending are one of the core drivers of our budget deficits. Our budget should be balanced only through meaningful cuts in spending, structural changes to state programs and the organization of government, and real reforms that grow our economy and tax base.

Yes!. We need to rank order all expenditures. We need to evaluate and account for all past expenditures. Once we have that data, we can make sure all the funds are dispersed in a fair and systematic process. Why is it when the state funds a program one year, that no one reviews the success or failure of that program? All continuation funding should be examined every year! The $5 Billion increase from the 32% tax increase last year should easily cover the future budgets without any additional revenues.

I think we owe it to the people of Illinois to try after raising their taxes last year. Before even considering any new sources of revenue, an extensive, thorough and honest accounting of how revenue is spent needs to take place. The previous tax increases alone puts significant new revenue into the state's receivables I realize we are backlogged and cannot pay our bills and our pension funds are underfunded but this state has proven that in the past two decades, it is will spend more that whatever amount of money it take in. The immediate solution is not to feed a monster that refuses to discipline itself. Our residents are overburdened.

I believe the state budget can be balanced without any tax increases or new sources of revenue. For years, state government spending has outpaced growth of the Illinois economy, and therefore our tax base. The perpetual increases in spending are one of the core drivers of our budget deficits. Our budget should be balanced only through meaningful cuts in spending, structural changes to state programs and the organization of government, and real reforms that grow our economy and tax base.

Yes, I believe it is our responsibility to do so. Let's start by not raising taxes like was recently done by opponent. Higher taxes are driving taxpayers and the revenue they create out of our state and perpetuating the problem of a shrinking tax base. We need to reduce spending and make government more efficient. We need to eliminate corruption within the system. This will help in alleviating the tax burdens on the citizens of Illinois.

Yes, but it would take decades to get to that point. If Illinois legalizes marijuana and expands gaming by creating 5 new gaming licenses (1 for Chicago and 4 for areas on Illinois' borders), then the state can achieve a balanced budget much faster. New sources of revenue like this will obviate the need to increase revenue via income or property taxes.

Power struggle. Previous Governor Quinn and current Senate President Cullerton fought with Mike Madigan over the budget, and now Gov Rauner is forced to do the same. There is not enough revenue, even after a Democrat majority 32% permanent income tax increase, to balance the current expenses that the State endures. For the state to meet its current expenditures, many programs would need to be drastically reduced financially. Key program cuts will hurt different politicians. Nobody wants to lose financial benefits in their own backyard even if its for the betterment of the State.

I think we owe it to the people of Illinois to try after raising their taxes last year. Before even considering any new sources of revenue, an extensive, thorough and honest accounting of how revenue is spent needs to take place. The previous tax increases alone puts significant new revenue into the state's receivables I realize we are backlogged and cannot pay our bills and our pension funds are underfunded but this state has proven that in the past two decades, it is will spend more that whatever amount of money it take in. The immediate solution is not to feed a monster that refuses to discipline itself. Our residents are overburdened.

Yes, I believe it is our responsibility to do so. Let's start by not raising taxes like was recently done by opponent. Higher taxes are driving taxpayers and the revenue they create out of our state and perpetuating the problem of a shrinking tax base. We need to reduce spending and make government more efficient. We need to eliminate corruption within the system. This will help in alleviating the tax burdens on the citizens of Illinois.

Yes, but it would take decades to get to that point. If Illinois legalizes marijuana and expands gaming by creating 5 new gaming licenses (1 for Chicago and 4 for areas on Illinois' borders), then the state can achieve a balanced budget much faster. New sources of revenue like this will obviate the need to increase revenue via income or property taxes.

Absolutely. We were recently burdened with a 32% income tax hike without any reforms. Instead of hitting the taxpayers' pockets once again, legislators must be responsible and accountable and look for ways to reform structural governmental spending. Taxpayers are fleeing the state in record numbers and those that are still here can't handle any more tax increases.

I don't believe that the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of income.

Absolutely. We were recently burdened with a 32% income tax hike without any reforms. Instead of hitting the taxpayers' pockets once again, legislators must be responsible and accountable and look for ways to reform structural governmental spending. Taxpayers are fleeing the state in record numbers and those that are still here can't handle any more tax increases.

I am strongly opposed to any further tax increases. As cited above, Democrats have already passed the 32% income tax increase on our families without any reforms. This permanent solution in their eyes was not what is needed to help the hardworking people of Illinois. As I walk door to door in the district I've heard multiple times "Why should Illinois be able to spend more than it makes?" This is not how families prepare their budgets in their homes, and it is not how successful small businesses operate. Why should the state be any different?

I don't believe that the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of income.

No. We have dug a hole too deep to not need additional sources of revenue. The state needs to operate and there just isn't enough money. We will also work on eliminating the waste in the state, but more revenue is needed also. I would support additional sources of revenue including taxing recreational marijuana use, advocating for sports gambling, and amending the constitution to allow for a progressive income tax.

No, unless the legislature and governor are prepared to make devastating cuts to social services and hurting working families. I am not in favor of draconian cuts. I support a graduated rate income tax.

No. We have dug a hole too deep to not need additional sources of revenue. The state needs to operate and there just isn't enough money. We will also work on eliminating the waste in the state, but more revenue is needed also. I would support additional sources of revenue including taxing recreational marijuana use, advocating for sports gambling, and amending the constitution to allow for a progressive income tax.

No, unless the legislature and governor are prepared to make devastating cuts to social services and hurting working families. I am not in favor of draconian cuts. I support a graduated rate income tax.

Yes, but it will require political leaders willing to rethink state government from the ground up. Taxpayers in Illinois are paying too much in taxes. That is why we've seen families fleeing for states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Iowa where they can get a better quality of life at a lower cost. To me it seems that the question isn't can it be balanced, but how will we balance it. Increased taxes will only drive more families out and further exacerbate our financial situation resulting in less revenue in the long run. We cannot expect families to pay more. It is time that government works for the people in Illinois and not the other way around.

I believe that Illinois is suffering from tax fatigue. This fatigue comes not just from the taxes themselves, but the constant changing tax rates (e.g. state income taxes going up and down and then up again; soda tax in and then out). We need to do the very best we can to live with the increases that just went into effect until we understand how much new revenue the state will receive. Once we have a clearer idea on revenues, and build a budget from the ground up (one that includes all expenses and no rosy revenue forecasts), we can properly determine what, if any, new revenue is needed to fund the services at risk.

The state has to create new forms of revenue in order to come close to balancing the budget.