Pritzker: With fair tax defeat, ‘There will be cuts, and they will be painful’

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker painted a grim future of the state’s struggle against the spread of COVID-19, saying all 11 regions are seeing surges in infections.

“Hospitalizations have doubled in the last month,” said Pritzker. “Mitigations only work if everyone takes personal responsibility.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 7,538 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 55 additional deaths.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 437,556 cases, including 9,933 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 71,857 specimens for a total 8,030,713. As of last night, 3,761 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 776 patients were in the ICU and 327 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from October 28 – November 3 is 8.5%.

Region 1’s 7-day rolling positivity average: 15.7% (15.3% yesterday)

Boone: 20.3% (20% yesterday)
Carroll: 19.1% (16.9% yesterday)
DeKalb: 11.1% (10.8% yesterday)
Jo Daviess: 13.9% (11.7% yesterday)
Lee: 17% (17.8% yesterday)
Ogle: 15.8% (14% yesterday)
Stephenson: 17.5% (17.7% yesterday)
Whiteside: 17.2% (16.8% yesterday)
Winnebago: 15.9 % (15.5% yesterday)

“For decades, Illinois expenditures never matched revenues,” Pritzker said, adding that he ran for office to fix fiscal issues. “Today, this problem has reached a peak.”

Pritzker said his predecessor, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, tried to “drag the state underwater” by cutting childcare and state agencies. “He left all of us with an untenable situation,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said he walked into office with $8 billion backlog in unpaid bills, and said that is now down by a billion dollars in 12 months.

“If you think cutting government alone is the solution….we would have to cut spending by 15%. That’s 15% fewer state troopers and 15% fewer kids going to school. Call this the Republican approach,” Pritzker said.

Option 2, he said, was to raise the flat tax on everyone, and Option 3 was the fair tax amendment, which was voted down by a majority of Illinois voters on Tuesday.

Regardless, Pritzker said he would continue to work on Illinois’ fiscal problems and budget woes, but added, “There will be cuts and they will be painful.”

The Governor also said all Illinois residents will see an increase in taxes with the failure of the fair tax amendment to pass.

Pritzker said he had no plans to order a recount, and again took a stand against a tax on retirement income, saying he will continue to make sure Illinois residents receive their pensions.

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