SPRINGFIELD – February 16, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today delivered his fiscal year 2012 budget address to the Illinois General Assembly, proposing “Illinois Working,” a plan for budget stability, jobs and economic growth. The Governor proposed a lean budget that spreads the burden across state government, while implementing investments and economies needed to ensure a better future.
“Budget stability is a critical factor in growing Illinois’ economy, attracting business investment and creating jobs,” said Governor Quinn. “By working together on this plan, we will help to lead Illinois citizens to economic prosperity and maintain our role as a global economic powerhouse.”
Governor Quinn’s plan for budget stability involves four key components: economic growth, paying bills on time, budgeting for results and spending restraint.
Economic growth and fiscal stability go hand-in-hand. Simply having the ability to pay our bills on time will have a positive effect on our economy and jobs across Illinois.
The Governor also noted that for decades, Illinois has had a broken budget system. This year, he is implementing fundamentally different approach to spending decisions, “Budgeting for Results.” Going forward, every area of state government will be evaluated by specific performance metrics—retaining those that measure up, and eliminating or changing those that do not.
The reform follows significant reductions in state spending since Governor Quinn has taken office, including historic pension reform, and significant reforms to the state’s Medicaid program. Recently, the Governor also signed strict, unprecedented caps on state spending into law.
Jobs and Economic Growth
During today’s address, Governor Quinn also reaffirmed his commitment to bringing businesses to Illinois and increasing the state’s role as a competitor in the global marketplace.
In an effort to increase innovation and entrepreneurship, Governor Quinn announced that he will create the Illinois Innovation Council, which will be chaired by Groupon co-founder Bradley Keywell. The council will explore innovative public/private partnerships in an effort to further opportunities for innovation.
Expanding exports and increasing foreign investment are crucial to securing Illinois’ role in the world economy. Recently, Governor Quinn announced a major partnership with Mitsubishi Motors as well as agreements that significantly expanded trade with China - continuing the efforts that helped Illinois increase its exports 20 percent from 2009 to 2010. Today the Governor pledged to double Illinois’ exports over the next five years.
The Governor reiterated his commitment to education, essential for sustaining growth in our state. By making sure that the state is putting money into classrooms – rather than administrative costs – we are providing our students with high-quality education and preparing our future workers. The state will also invest in skills and job training, so that we continue to have the best-educated, best-trained workforce in the nation.
Investing in public works and education will also be an essential part of supporting jobs and economic growth in fiscal year 2012. Illinois’ infrastructure has made the state a regional and national transportation hub. Ongoing projects, such as high-speed rail will continue to help businesses expand in Illinois.
Tax Relief and Reform
Governor Quinn announced that the state will work to save taxpayer dollars while improving the services already delivered. The Governor also highlighted the need for a tax code that is fair to everyone. During fiscal year 2012, Governor Quinn will form the Illinois Revenue Reform Commission to recommend a plan to write a 21st century tax code.
For more information and copies of Governor Quinn’s operating and capital budget proposals for fiscal year 2012, please visit Budget.Illinois.gov.