Senator McCann shares his thoughts on Rauner’s budget proposal

By Blake Schnitker on February 15 at 10:34am

More state lawmakers from west central Illinois are commenting on the budget proposal delivered by Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday.

State Senator Sam McCann of Plainview represents Illinois’ 50th district in the central part of the state as well as Jacksonville. Though he won’t appear on the March primary ballots, Senator McCann is still paying close attention to the developments taking place at the state capital.

McCann says that, while he doesn’t view the Governor’s budget as flawless, this proposal comes closer to being balanced than budget proposals in past years.

“This is the governor’s fourth try, and the final one of this term, and it did sound a little more like a campaign speech than a budget address, but I guess for a man who’s in the fight of his life for the primary and then presumably for the general, I suppose he can be forgiven for that. That being said, I will give him credit this:I think this attempt has come closer to being balanced than any of the previous three, but I don’t think it is quite balanced. It presumes a lot of things and it works with a lot of smoke and mirrors,” says McCann.

McCann explains that there are aspects of Rauner’s proposal that he agrees with, as well as others he disagrees with. Similar to other area politicians, McCann points to potentially rising property taxes as a result of Rauner’s push to shift teachers pension costs to the local level.

“There are things that I can support, there are things that I cannot support. One of the things that I cannot support is the teachers pension costs shift from normal state revenue to local districts because I think it’s hypocritical of the governor, and it would be hypocritical of anyone who agrees with him, that property taxes need to be frozen if not reduced, and I feel like pain along with everyone else. But now when we push that down on the locals, that means property taxes are necessarily going to have to increase exponentially to cover that cost,” McCann explains.

Senator McCann continues with what he describes as “hypocrisy” in the governor’s budget proposal because of the possibility of rising property taxes.

“For a man, and I’m talking about the governor here, who has campaigned for the last five years on freezing and reducing property taxes, I think it’s hypocritical to force school districts, and thus local property taxpayers, to pay the highest ever property tax bill that they will probably ever receive because of it,” says McCann.

Under Governor Rauner’s plan, school districts and universities would begin to pay their own pension costs. This realignment of the state’s pension costs would be phased in over the next four years in 25 percent increments per year.