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Negotiating Team Outlines Illinois House Democrats’ Economic Reform Proposals

House Democrats seeking common ground with Gov. Bruce Rauner in order to end the budget stalemate and put the state on a path to fiscal stability are asking the governor to consider their reform proposals that will improve the business climate while lifting up the middle class.

“House Democrats believe the budget crisis demands immediate action, and it is our hope to show Governor Rauner that we stand ready to work with him,” state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie said. “We plan to seek common ground with the governor on his proposals, and present him with items we believe should be part of the bargaining in order to encourage economic growth while lifting up the middle class.”

Last week, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan appointed Currie and House Leaders Lou Lang, Arthur Turner and Jay Hoffman to work with Rauner to find compromise on issues unrelated to the state budget.

The legislators plan to present the governor with House Democratic Caucus proposals that will improve the business climate while lifting up the middle class. While the governor has prioritized changes to the workers’ compensation system, Democrats are pushing for additional reforms that would prohibit insurance companies in Illinois from eliminating an insurance policy due to a pre-existing condition and would also create an Insurance Rate Review Board to prevent insurance companies from unfairly gouging consumers.

The House negotiators also plan to ask Rauner to stand with Democrats in working to close corporate loopholes that allow large businesses to pay nothing in taxes. House Democrats have prioritized cutting the overall corporate income tax to level the playing field for small and medium-sized employers, while also cracking down on large corporations that game the system to avoid paying anything in taxes.

“House Democrats have put forward a number of reforms that address the governor’s goals, and we will continue pushing ideas that will strengthen the economy while also lifting up the middle class,” Lang said. “We believe we can create jobs without hurting the people who work in those jobs every day. We look forward to working with the governor to find common ground and move this conversation forward by discussing his ideas in depth, and presenting him with ideas of our own.”