Gov. Rod Blagojevich today called on lawmakers to "seize the moment" and enact new taxes on business, lease the state lottery and borrow money to fund a massive expansion of health care, pump new money into education and relieve the state's growing pension debt.
Delivering a combined budget address and State of the State message to the General Assembly, Blagojevich said he stood with the middle class against business interests who have failed to "simply pay their fair share" of the state's tax burden.
"For decades, it's been the middle class and the working families of Illinois that have shouldered more and more of the tax burden. And while they've paid more, the wealthiest corporations in our state have paid less and less. The impact of this imbalance weakens our economy, burdens our families and holds our state back," Blagojevich said.
"And the saddest irony of all, the very people burdened by an unfair tax system, middle class families and working families were hurt by the underfunding of education, health care and pension funds," he said.
Telling lawmakers the choice was theirs to make, Blagojevich said, "To me, the choice is simple. I stand with the people."