Lawmaker responses to the "State of the State" address:
State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Belvidere): “Today should have been the time for the Governor to lay out his plan for bringing jobs to Illinois and stabilizing our economy. Illinois continues to have extremely high unemployment, owes $9 billion in unpaid bills, faces a $95 billion unfunded pension liability and now has the lowest credit rating of any state in the nation. We needed the Governor to paint an honest picture of the current fiscal conditions of our state and to give his plan to get Illinois’ budget deficit under control. Unfortunately, that true assessment did not happen.”
State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford): “Governor Quinn has some good ideas, many of which we have heard before, however; he failed to seriously address our economy which consistently lags behind other Midwestern states. I was displeased to hear very little about how we seriously improve the jobs climate. Raising the minimum wage will only worsen our poor business climate. If Illinois would concentrate on improving the jobs climate, our fiscal situation would improve, because more citizens working – would then spur more revenue to help fix the budget,” Syverson said. “The pension crisis has been in the news for 10 years, if the Governor was serious why did we not hear serious solutions. The longer the wait, the costs of pension reform will only increase. Illinois citizens are tired of talk, they demand action. Governor Quinn’s address was tall on idea, but short on serious solutions.”
State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap):“Illinois is the ‘Island of the Midwest’ when it comes to chronic dysfunction. Every state bordering Illinois has either addressed or begun steps to fix their budgets. Governor Quinn’s speech was full of rhetoric, but he barely mentioned solutions to the $9 billion backlog of bills, the deficit budget or the $100-plus billion of long-term bond indebtedness that plagues our state,” LaHood said. “I am prepared to work with my legislative colleagues to bring our state back, but I wish the Governor shared the same seriousness.”
State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon): "Governor Quinn talked about several important issues in his State of the State address today, but a majority of Illinoisans are more concerned about the larger picture impacting us all directly. Our unemployment rate is higher than the national average at 8.7 percent, we owe over $9 billion in unpaid bills, and we have accrued a $95 billion unfunded pension liability. As the new 98th General Assembly along with Governor, we are responsible for cleaning up a fiscal disaster that has been many years in the making."