Last November, after Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “fair tax” proposal failed, the first-term governor warned of trouble ahead. It would take deep cuts to government budgets, or else a steep hike to income taxes, to make up the lost revenue, he said.
Never mind all that. Gov. Pritzker’s $41.6 billion budget, delivered Wednesday, did not contain the deep cuts to education, social services and public safety he had foretold. There was no tax hike either.
Part of the reason may be that, when it comes to major economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic so far, we can never mind much of that hype too.
David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.
Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.
Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.