State Senator Kyle McCarter maintains there is no need for a tax hike in Illinois and he's working with several legislators on both sides of the aisle to put together a budget that doesn't rely on any tax increase.
The Republican lawmaker is pleased Governor Rauner isn't recommending an increase in sales tax on food and drugs, but says that doesn't go far enough.
"The Grand Bargain is no bargain at all for the tax-payers. To say that you are going to support a plan that starts with taxing people more, and not making this government live within the means of the people, is wrong. I'm going to continue to put an alternate budget on the table that says we are going to lower the size of this government to where it's affordable to the people."
McCarter says that means cutting $5-billion to $7-billion from current spending. He feels it can be done, but only with bold changes. McCarter wants to start with reform of the pensions for legislators who can set an example for other pension funds to follow. He says the proposed budget being put together is nearing completion.
Meanwhile, Republican State Representative John Cavaletto said he agreed with most of what the Governor had to say.
"It's going to take jobs. And its going to take more tax payers to make this state go again. And balance the budget. We're not going to do it by taxing, borrowing, fees...just like the Governor said. Everything he said today is true about bringing this state back. The bottom line is that we have to change the way we do business and start spending on revenue and not spending."
Cavaletto says if that change isn't made they will continue to go down a bad path and eventually will not be able to bring the state back.
Governor Rauner called his budget balanced, but only if the legislature approves $4-billion in tax increases and unspecified spending cuts.