We all agree that Illinois has serious, overwhelming financial challenges. While we try to diagnose the problems, the immediate issue for the next 30 days is, What are we willing to do to save Illinois from financial collapse?
Therefore, on behalf of the entire Illinois hospital community, we pledge full support for maintaining our current tax rates to keep Illinois from falling into the financial abyss.
This issue is not just about hospitals. It’s also about roads, schools, and public safety. Without the continuation of current tax revenues, these areas will be subject to severe cuts in funding.
We have all witnessed firsthand the needed improvements in Illinois roads, health care, public safety, and education. We have much work to do to improve the lives of all Illinoisans, which calls for stable and predictable state funding.
Deciding to support a continuation of current tax rates is not easy. But taking the easy way out today will make tomorrow’s problems only worse. We must collectively find the courage to do the right thing now. We need to keep our promises to Illinoisans to keep our state safe, well educated, and healthy.
No silver bullet can solve those issues. It takes tough decisions and sacrifice for the greater good of the state. That’s why the Illinois hospital community supports taking this difficult action.
Now is the time for political courage and statesmanship – and for legislators to make tough decisions for these tough times. We ask state lawmakers to vote “yes” to enact a FY2015 state budget that maintains current tax rates. Our future depends on it.
Note to readers: Maryjane A. Wurth is president and CEO of the Illinois Hospital Association, and Kevin Poorten is chairman of the IHA Board of Trustees and president and CEO of KishHealth System.