WOODSTOCK—As Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration announced plans to borrow nearly half a billion dollars to finance road and transit projects, state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, renewed his call for a special session to address the state’s deepening financial crisis.


“The governor is taking action to move ahead with these projects after weighing their cost and their long-term value, and I’m urging him to join me in bringing this same decisive leadership to the budget crisis, the long-term costs of which are equally as clear,” Franks said. “Every single day that our tax dollars are managed through court orders and that our pension systems operate without necessary reforms, taxpayers are on the hook for another $33 million in debt, on top of the billions of dollars Illinois is already spending. That’s the cost of inaction. With a real balanced budget, that money could instead be used to pay for the entire capital improvement package in just 16 days. It’s time for the governor to recognize that these costs are unsustainable, and it’s time for all 177 members of the General Assembly to get back to the Capitol, lock the door and work around the clock until we have a solution.”


This week, the Rauner administration announced it would borrow $480 million to fund capital development projects, citing the important role the projects play in growing the Illinois economy. Franks supports the governor’s focus on economic development and is urging the governor to take further action by calling legislators into a special session to work around the clock to address the state’s budget crisis, which for six months has weighed down the state’s economy and cost taxpayers an estimated $33 million per day, according to a report from the Civic Federation. Without a balanced budget, Illinois is projected to face $8 billion in debt by the end of the fiscal year.


“The cost of this budget impasse is measured in dollars, it’s measured in families hurt and it’s measured in the impact on the integrity of our state. Every day without action, the toll rises,” Franks said. “The cost of a special session is wholly eclipsed by the $33 million taxpayers are being burdened with every day without a budget, the lives affected by the loss of critical services and the mark on our state that is this six-month exercise in government dysfunction.”

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