SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton issued the following statement regarding Governor Pat Quinn’s FY15 budget plan:

“Governor Quinn’s budget plan outlines the steps that I believe we must take in order to maintain the progress made in recent years.

Since we passed the income tax increase in 2011, we have paid down $3 billion in old bills and fully funded our ballooning pension payments without borrowing. We saved billions with responsible budget cuts and demonstrated that we can be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

In order to stay on this path of fiscal stability, we have to maintain the same level of revenue. Voting to maintain our current tax rate is a responsible action that keeps Illinois’ income taxes among the lowest in the nation. It will allow us to honor our obligations, preserve education funding and secure our financial future for generations to come.

Equally important to that principle is identifying ways to provide targeted tax relief for the people of Illinois. Therefore I intend to support the Governor’s plan to provide property tax relief to homeowners. I look forward to advancing this proposal and others designed to provide relief and economic opportunity for middle-class and working families.

In recent years, Democrats have had to act alone in balancing the budget. However, there is also a great record of accomplishment on fiscal matters when Republicans have participated.

Billions in draconian budget cuts to vital programs that serve every district of this state are unacceptable to me. If they are unacceptable to Republicans, I again invite them engage in the budget process with constructive and balanced solutions to secure Illinois’ financial future.

Our state continues to face challenges, but I’m optimistic that we can and will address them because we have a record of progress when we work together.”