Facts: Balanced budget has big spending cuts, responsible revenue, stability

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It’s been an entire session in the making – a responsible balanced budget for the first time in well over two years. Never before has Illinois, or any other state in contemporary history, gone without a finalized budget for such a long period of time. And, after untold hours of negotiation, compromise and conciliation, Illinois Senate Democrats grew weary of Governor Bruce Rauner’s forced slow-walk toward a resolution. With the clock ticking, millions of Illinoisans facing the prospect of continued and frustrating uncertainty, Senate Democrats passed a balanced budget with an historic $3 billion in cuts.

Here are the facts:

Capping Governor Rauner’s Spending Number

In February, Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled a tremendously out of balance spending proposal that sets next year’s spending at $37.3 billion. The fiscal year 2018 begins on July 1, 2017, and Rauner’s plan was $4.6 out of balance.

Senate Democrats’ plan closed the massively irresponsible gap and set provisions in place to ensure that spending doesn’t exceed Rauner’s $37.3 billion recommendation. This means, even though Governor Rauner has asked for major increases in spending, government can’t spend more than the $37.3 billion he proposed.

A $3 Billion Spending Cut

To balance the Governor’s irresponsible, multi-billion dollar out-of-balance budget proposal, Senate Democrats engaged in an intense process of slashing spending. These are cuts that Governor Rauner was unwilling to offer his support for, but Senate Democrats passed the measures with little to no GOP support.

Part of the spending cuts include reducing operational spending by 5% for the bulk of government agencies. While these cuts often don’t impact programs and services to the public, they are aimed to streamline the government bureaucracy.

Cuts and Savings

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A Responsible Revenue Plan to Set a Path for Stability

Every credible economic expert, sensible business leader and even Governor Rauner and his tightly controlled GOP allies have agreed that Illinois can’t simply cut its way out of the massive crisis we face. Revenue must be included. And, Senate Democrats also approved a responsible revenue package to establish certainly and stability for Illinois’ communities and our economy.

$5.5 billion in revenue:

Personal income tax: Raises the rate by 1.2 points - to 4.95 percent from current 3.75 percent.

  • Generates $4.453 billion annually.
  • This is a 1.2 percentage point increase, or a bit over a penny per dollar.

Corporate income tax: Increases to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.

  • Generates $514 million annually.

Eliminates three corporate tax loopholes worth a combined $125 million a year:

  • Eliminates the domestic production deduction (decouples Illinois from federal tax law; Wisconsin and Indiana already did this.)
  • Repeals the non-combination rule
  • Eliminates loophole exempting areas outside of standard U.S. from taxation, “outer continental shelf”

A modernized revenue stream for services. Total: $55 million

  • laundry and dry-cleaning - $4 million
  • storage (cars, boats, property) - $18 million
  • pest control - $4 million
  • private detective, alarm and security services - $5 million
  • personal care: only tattoos, piercing (not haircuts, not hair coloring, not hair waxing or nails) $16 million

Cable/Satellite/Streaming services will be taxed but through a franchise tax, not a sales tax. $54 million

Democrats Excluded Many of the Republican Tax Increases

During negotiations, Republicans floated a variety of taxes that would impact Illinois’ working families disproportionately when compared to the state’s wealthier citizens. Democrats eliminate the GOP’s plan for a $44 million tax for the repair and maintenance of cars, homes and other personal property, as well as a $14 million mowing/lawn care service tax.

Additionally, Senate Democrats eliminated a GOP tax plan that would cost small businesses $83 million in rebates they currently receive.

Investment & Balanced Spending for Stability

budgetThe Senate Democrats’ FY18 budget invests heavily on elementary and secondary education, but also restores reasonable investment into higher education – a system Governor Rauner has slashed by billions in the past two years.

P-12 Education:

Includes more than $330 million in additional funding over current levels.

  • $286 million in new dollars to put toward new school funding formula
  • $35 million in additional funding for Early Childhood programs

Includes funding for other grant programs such as:

  • $15 million for after school programs
  • $2.3 million for agriculture education
  • $500,000 for AP classes

Higher Education:

Provides full year funding for universities and community colleges for first time in two years

  • Funding is restored to Fiscal Year 2015 levels (last full higher education budget) and then cut by 10 percent to help balance overall spending.

MAP grants are funded at the FY 2015 budget level of $364 million.

Includes state funds for federal matching requirements for:

  • Career and Tech education
  • Adult education

Human Services

Provides full year of funding for following programs:

  • Community Care Program
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings
  • Addiction Treatment
  • Early Intervention
  • Domestic Violence Shelters
  • Mental Health programs
  • Child Care Services

Reinstates grant programs eliminated in Rauner’s budget:

  • $15 million for Youth Employment
  • $6 million of immigrant services
  • $13.4 million for Teen Reach
  • $4.3 million for autism support
  • $5.5 million for community youth services
  • $1 million for addiction prevention programs