Researchers from the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children have put forward a "broad range of available revenue options" state lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner could adopt to avoid deep budget cuts to crucial programs and services in the upcoming fiscal year.
A new report from the center details those possible revenue solutions, which would come through reforming the state's income, business and sales taxes as well as taxes on alcohol, nicotine and sugary beverages.
Rauner's proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts July 1, does not call for increased taxes, but, instead, proposes significant cuts to higher education, Medicaid and other essential services as a means to tackle the state's fiscal problems.
The Responsible Budget Coalition, comprised of about 200 groups working to protect vital supports for Illinois families and communities, has called Rauner's proposed budget cuts "morally reprehensible."
"The Governor has argued that he must make cuts that damage our communities to balance the budget. This report debunks that myth," said David Lloyd, director of the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children, a Responsible Budget Coalition member. "The Governor and lawmakers have another choice: they can avoid cuts by choosing new revenue to protect the future of our state."