A Fair Tax is needed to pay for our state's priorities WESTMONT – Following Governor Pritzker’s budget address today, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery released this response:
“After an incredibly productive first year, it was encouraging to hear Governor Pritzker maintain Illinois’s forward momentum. ”The governor remains committed to increasing education funding at all levels. His proposed increase for the Evidence Based Model (EBM) brings our state closer to equitable funding and drives dollars to our neediest K-12 schools. We are also glad to see his proposed increase for public higher education funding to help our still-recovering colleges and universities rebuild and keep more Illinois students in state by making college more affordable. “The fact that the Governor has made a portion of this budget contingent on the passage of a Fair Tax demonstrates what we have been saying for the past year: passage of the Fair Tax is imperative to the fiscal health of this state. The Fair Tax will ensure our state has the revenue it needs to improve public services and give our students the future they deserve. Not only would the Fair Tax bring in $3.4 billion per year, fix our state’s broken tax system, and fund education and state services, it would do so by simply asking the wealthiest 3 percent of Illinoisans – those who make more than $250,000 per year – to pay their fair share. The rest of us would get a tax cut or see no increase. “We are also pleased that the governor’s budget accounts for the state making its full pension payment to state retirement systems. For too many years, the state shirked its responsibility to provide retirement security for educators and other public workers. We appreciate that he is committed to ensuring that they receive the benefits they were promised for a lifetime of service. “We look forward to continuing to work with the governor throughout this session to ensure our state stays on the path he has set to recovery and prosperity.”
# # # The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) 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.