PLAINFIELD - After Standard & Poor's downgraded Illinois financial outlook to the nation's lowest "negative" rating, State Rep. Tom Cross - who's leading in the polls against Democrat State Senator Mike Frerichs to be the next State Treasurer - pointed to the state's unbalanced budget, pay raises and taxpayer-funded insider deals as the reason he opposed the budget from the start.
“The unbalanced budget approved by the Quinn/Frerichs team is the primary reason behind Standard & Poor’s downgrading Illinois’ credit outlook to negative. Standard & Poor’s identified the state budget as ‘not structurally balanced and will contribute to growing deficits and payables that will likely pressure the state’s liquidity,’" Cross said in a statement Thursday.
The Quinn/Frerichs budget was completely irresponsible, he said, including $500,000 in legislative pay raises, $10 million in funding for a private Chicago theater and other outrageously wasteful and unnecessary spending.
"I opposed this unbalanced budget as I believed it violated the state constitution and if I am fortunate enough to be elected as Treasurer, my first act will be to challenge the legality of this budget,” Cross said.
But how to get that unbalanced budget? It shouldn't involve service fees, Cross says.
Earlier this week, Cross told a Quad Cities reporter that he opposed Republican Bruce Rauners plan to gradually eliminate the 2011 state income tax hike, freeze property taxes and add new service taxes.
"Sometimes Republicans disagree," Rep. Cross said of his opposition to the Rauner tax plan. "I don't support any of the service taxes."
On a website "OvertaxedIllinois.com," Cross has a petition to oppose the service tax plan, and attributes the flawed idea to his opponent Mike Frerichs.