Proft Calls for State Legislators to be Paid in State Bonds

In response to today’s Fitch Ratings’ downgrade of Illinois' general obligation bond rating two notches from AA-minus to A, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft released the following statement,

“Today’s news that Illinois’ bond rating has been further downgraded should come as no surprise to anyone, especially to the Chicago Democrats who control state government and who voted to increase Illinois’ bond debt earlier this month by borrowing $3.5 billion against the state’s pension funds so as to avoid having to cut spending or fundamentally restructure the big ticket systems in state government.

From Marketwatch, 'Analysts cited the failure of the state to enact a budget that addresses its spending needs and structural deficit.'

“Instead of pursuing a fiscally-responsible, conservative reform agenda, the Springfield political class decided to pile another back-door tax increase on Illinois taxpayers who will now be forced to finance higher interest payments on the state’s outstanding debt.

“Illinois does not have a revenue problem. Illinois has a spending problem. We need to radically rethink the way government operates if there’s any chance to put Illinois back on the path of financial stability. We need to institute statutory spending caps and fundamentally restructure how we do K-12 education, how we operate the state’s Medicaid system and how we deal with the largest unfunded pension liability in the nation. That is half of the problem.

“The other half of the problem is to making Illinois a growth state again so we end the fiscal death spiral of punishing small business to finance big government.

“We can’t simply oppose tax increases. We should be cutting taxes on productive activities like work and investment and reducing burdensome regulations that make Illinois repellent to businesses. A Proft Administration will do just that.

“Rather than advancing system change ideas, if the Springfield political class believes increasing Illinois’ bond debt is sound fiscal policy, then I propose that state legislators be compensated in state bonds.

“Instead of flourishing while Illinois taxpayers are fleeced, it’s time the Springfield politicians feel directly the financial impact of their bad policies, bad choices and general political cowardice.”

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