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Pritzker has his priorities straight on public education, Fair Tax

2/20/2019
WESTMONT – Following Governor Pritzker’s combined State of the State and budget address today, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery released this response:
“After four years of divisiveness and destruction under Bruce Rauner, it was inspiring today to hear Governor Pritzker call for unity and collaboration to help Illinois get back on track. 
 
“The problems we’re facing have taken decades to develop, and Rauner made them exponentially worse during his manufactured budget crisis. As a result, the new administration has inherited a $3.2 billion budget deficit and nearly $15 billion in unpaid bills.

“Despite these fiscal challenges, we are excited to see that Governor Pritzker is keeping his promise to prioritize public education and plans to dramatically increase funding at every level. It’s clear that he understands the importance of great public schools and higher education and is committed to fulfilling the state’s responsibility to invest in them.

“We are also interested to learn more about the pension ideas proposed today and glad they did not include any unconstitutional cuts to workers’ hard-earned retirements. We welcome the opportunity to work together to address the debt, and that’s why I’ve been proud to serve on the transition committee and advise on pension issues, to help ensure this is done responsibly and fairly.

“In the end though, none of our state’s economic problems can be solved without more revenue. We agree with the Governor – and 72 percent of Illinoisans – that our state’s wealthiest citizens should pay their fair share, while lower and middle-class families get a break. We are fully committed to helping pass a fair tax.   
 
 “We are heartened to have a governor who respects the vital work of public servants and our unions and look forward to tackling the challenges ahead – together.”

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The Illinois Federation of Teachers represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees. 
 
IFT President Dan Montgomery has worked tirelessly on behalf of public education and the rights of working men and women for more than two decades. In addition to being a union leader at the state and national levels, Montgomery is a dedicated and experienced educator who taught high school English for 18 years in Skokie, IL.

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