Leader Delia Ramirez Responds to Governor’s Budget Address
February 17, 2021 - SPRINGFIELD, Ill.
Leader Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago, issued the following statement after Gov. Pritzker’s budget address:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of our lives, and our state budget is no exception. People are grappling with drained savings, record unemployment, housing and food insecurity, widespread trauma, and survival needs. Over the last year, states like Illinois were largely abandoned by the federal government under the Trump administration. The Biden administration must do better.
Now more than ever, the people of Illinois are relying on us to pass a budget that invests in areas of greatest need and doesn’t short change vital services. The pandemic has exhausted our already under-resourced social safety net. Decades of disinvestment and policies pushed by big corporations and the wealthy, have left working families and communities of color especially vulnerable to the pandemic. Corporations and the wealthiest individuals have increased their wealth massively during this public health crisis. Income inequality continues to grow at alarming rates. It’s time we ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share towards the services our communities need.
We must provide our public schools the funds that were promised when the legislature created a new more equitable funding formula. We need to strengthen and increase investment for programs and social services that are holding communities together and serving people on the frontlines of this crisis. We need a budget that meets the challenges of the pandemic by investing directly in our communities. The Governor’s budget proposal is a starting point to this conversation but I believe we can and should, do more. Closing $900 million in corporate loopholes is a good step, but we must also look at other forms of generating progressive revenue, instead of making any cuts to vital services.
I will continue to stand for a budget that protects and invests in those who have been hardest hit by this pandemic: Black and brown communities, individuals who have lost their employment due to COVID, families experiencing housing insecurity during the pandemic, undocumented immigrants who have been left out of relief programs, small business owners who have been devastated by the necessary shutdowns, and frontline and essential workers. These groups have sacrificed and lost enough during this pandemic, it's time we ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.”