State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, released the following statement Wednesday in response to Governor Rauner's budget address:
"The governor used all of his power to try to stop last year's budget compromise between Democratic and Republican lawmakers. He repeatedly sidetracked negotiations and moved the goal posts to make a resolution nearly impossible. Illinois cannot afford more of the governor's games. Yet, again, his budget presented today is much of the same rhetoric.
"Last year, Governor Rauner vetoed a school funding package that added nearly $2 million in state funding to local schools. Now, he's again attempting to strip money from the classrooms while simultaneously increasing local property taxes by forcing Metro East homeowners to pick up the cost of the state's bills.
"Rauner's previous stalemate only served to hurt middle-class families and further compound our state's fiscal challenges. His proposal includes no mechanism for beginning to pay down the backlog accrued during the impasse. It is my hope that the governor can work together with the legislature to pass a balanced budget that protects our small businesses, middle-class families, children with disabilities, schools and universities, veterans and seniors."