“I welcome Governor Rauner’s willingness to make specific budget proposals, and I stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to enact sensible solutions to our state’s problems. However, I am deeply troubled by today’s proposal, for reasons of both fairness and fiscal responsibility.  

“Our state is facing a deep financial hole, and we need to make tough choices to get out of it. But it’s important that the sacrifice is shared by all Illinois residents. Instead, the Governor’s proposal singles out working families and the most vulnerable among us for the deepest cuts, while asking nothing of the rich. It is simply unconscionable to slash Medicaid, foster care, and much of the rest of our safety net while leaving the most fortunate among us untouched. 

“Additionally, it is completely irresponsible to claim to balance a budget through pension reforms that would surely be litigated. An inevitable lawsuit will leave the state in financial limbo while the proposal meanders its way through the judicial system, and banking the savings of such a plan during that process puts us at risk of further damaging the fiscal condition of the pension systems. 

“Still, I remain optimistic about our state’s future and to the prospect of bipartisan collaboration with the new administration. In order to work productively toward common goals, we must embrace the concepts of shared sacrifice and transparent and responsible budgeting on behalf of the people of Illinois.”