Gubernatorial hopeful Brady proposes 10% statewide cuts

Gubernatorial hopeful Brady proposes 10% statewide cuts

SAVOY – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady said Thursday that all parts of state government, including education, should be cut by 10 percent, along with reforms in Medicaid, to help balance the deficit-ridden state budget.

Brady made his remarks at a news conference at Willard Airport, where he reiterated the support he has from 14 of the 70 Republican members of the Legislature. Among those endorsing Brady is state Rep. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, who was with him for a brief stop at the FlightStar office at Willard.

"I have called for a 10 percent cut across the board in every area of state government," said the Bloomington state senator, who is the only one of the seven Republican gubernatorial contenders who hails from downstate Illinois. "We've got to rein in government spending."

The across-the-board spending cut would save $5.5 billion, he said. Additional cuts by moving to managed care health care, Brady claimed, would yield enough savings to permit a billion dollars in tax cuts. He said he would eliminate the sales tax on gasoline purchases, which he called "a double tax" on top of the motor fuel tax.

"It's going to impact everybody, but it's necessary if we're going to deconstruct the budget and put together a budget that works for the people of Illinois and not the politicians," Brady said of his budget cuts which he acknowledged would affect higher education and elementary and secondary schools. "The real solution is we have to live within our means. Everyone's going to have to share in making this work."

Brady, who has served in the Legislature since 1993, said he can help Illinois "make a clean break from the politics of the past."

He said he not only opposes expanding gambling at race tracks, he opposes installing video poker machines in bars and truck stops around the state – as the Legislature approved earlier this year. Video gambling, along with other measures including higher taxes on liquor, were approved in order to pay for a $31 billion statewide construction program.

"We cannot expect to solve our financial crisis by expanding gaming," Brady said. "Gaming dollars have probably already reached a point of no return."

Brady said the construction program could be financed not with video gambling and liquor taxes but with increased proceeds from the motor fuel tax. He said the elimination of the "double tax" on gasoline sales would increase in-state fuel purchases and help finance road construction.

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