SPRINGFIELD, IL – Lawmakers will gather in Springfield January 29 for the Governor’s annual State of the State message, and State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said if the speech follows the format of past years, it will be long on positive rhetoric and short on details.
Sen. Rezin said lawmakers would like to hear more about three-year spending projections that the Governor’s own budget office says will create a $16.2 billion bill backlog by the end of Fiscal Year 17. However, Sen. Rezin said she is not optimistic that Gov. Quinn will provide any details or a clear path to balance spending with available revenues and avoid massive deficits.
More likely, the Governor will accentuate any available positive news about the state and eliminate any negative assessments – something that could be difficult to accomplish in a state that has been identified as having the worst prospects in the nation for job growth in 2014, the fourth highest unemployment in the nation, and the second highest outmigration of residents in 2013.
Sen. Rezin said she will be listening to hear whether or not education funding will be one of the Governor’s priorities this year. After a detailed Senate Republican report on education funding revealed major funding inequalities, a special Senate Committee was created to examine funding for education in Illinois, of which Sen. Rezin is a member. The committee has held several meetings which have confirmed the findings of the Senate Republican report. As a result, Senate Republican lawmakers continue to call for education funding reform.
“There are many problems facing Illinois that I would like the Governor to address,” Sen. Rezin said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think he will touch on the hard areas that we need to focus on to address the real issues we face, like our massive deficits and the state’s proven inequality in education funding. Not only do we have a higher unemployment rate than the national average or the worst job growth prospects in the nation, we have an education funding system that is inequitable and unfair to our schools. Our children are the ones who ultimately suffer from the unequal distribution of funds. It’s a shame and it needs to be a priority of Governor Quinn to address education funding this year. I hope I’m proven wrong and we hear some ideas for education funding reform from him tomorrow.”
Sen. Rezin is pictured above being interviewed regarding a preview of the Governor’s State of the State address.