Blaming previous legislators, Cullerton told the media, “Our budgets have made the full pension payments, even as those payments have soared to make up for generations of inaction and under-funding."
Cullerton argues the state has paid down $3 billion worth of unpaid bills, is paying off pension bonds, has closed 14 state facilities and reduced the state workforce by 5,000 people over the last five years.
Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), responded saying the time has passed when the state can make delicate cuts to the state budget. She says what’s needed now is cuts that are blunt.
“It’s going to cause some pain, and we’re going to have to ask the religious communities to pick up some of that slack, but if we do not reset in this state, and bring our spending in line with revenues, and stop raising taxes every couple of years, we simply won’t have people left. Jobs are leaving now. We’re at a crossroads,” she said.
The governor unveils his budget proposal on Wednesday.