Stadelman says Rauner budget is unbalanced, increases property taxes
raunerbudgetaddressState Senator Steve Stadelman is concerned about the negative effects Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget would have on education, human services and benefits for retired teachers and other public employees, while noting it’s technically not balanced and relies on shaky math.

"Once again, the governor’s rhetoric failed to match reality," Stadelman said following Rauner's annual Budget Address to the General Assembly in Springfield. "Bruce Rauner says he wants to reduce property taxes, but his proposal will result in a significant property tax increase on Rockford families.  While I appreciate the governor’s call for cutting back government, his priorities are misplaced. He proposes cutting autism and addiction prevention services, yet he wants to spend $30 million on a horse barn in Springfield."

Stadelman noted the governor's spending plan is essentially unbalanced for a fourth year in a row because of unrealistic assumptions including pension reform that requires legislative and court approval. There's also no escaping the hypocrisy of Rauner including revenue from an income tax increase he opposed to balance spending, Stadelman said.

What's more, giving school districts more flexibility to negotiate contracts and removing health care from collective bargaining illustrate that weakening labor is primary goal for the governor, according to Stadelman.

"The governor needs to drop his campaign talking points and lay out a genuinely balanced budget that addresses our $8 billion backlog of bills and puts our state on stable financial footing," Stadelman said.
Concerns grow about Rauner's turnaround on school funding
Beyond being deceptive, Gov. Rauner's budget proposal undermines a key accomplishment on his watch -- education funding reform.

Rauner calls for $350 million in additional spending on  public education, the amount required by the new funding formula he considers a top accomplishment. But the proposal then wipes out the increase by dumping nearly $500 million in state retirement costs onto local schools, according to State Senator Steve Stadelman.

"Public education ends up losing under the Rauner plan," Stadelman said. "Rockford and Harlem classrooms are especially harmed because the new funding formula benefits communities with low property values, high poverty and larger numbers of at-risk students."

Stadelman pointed out that schools still have not received a penny under the new formula, which Rauner is already trying to change. If enacted, Rauner's shift of pension costs to local government would leave schools no choice but to raise property taxes, something Rauner claims to oppose.

The combined effect of Rauner's proposals would result in a net $1 billion decline in state support for public schools.

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