Monday, January 4, 2010

Senator Brady Criticizes Jim Ryan's Plan to Lease Tollway

From the Campaign Office of Senator Bill Brady for Governor

Illinois Senator Bill Brady, (R) Candidate for Governor, released the following statement today regarding opponent Jim Ryan’s proposal to lease the Illinois State Tollway;
State assets have to be preserved for the long term. My opponent, Jim Ryan, is opening the door to a very dangerous practice. We should not be making a habit out of selling or leasing taxpayers assets for a short-term bump. That only provides a temporary fix to a much larger problem.

I would consider privatizing the tollway only if it could be managed better for the taxpayers and drivers, but our track record in Illinois suggests that would not be the case. The leasing of Chicago’s parking meters, for example, has been anything but beneficial to taxpayers. The transition was plagued with problems, and rates are so high -- increasing 75 cents in some areas in the new year -- many taxpayers can no longer afford the convenience of driving to the city. The privatization of the the Chicago Skyway lead to higher tolls, less maintenance and was forced to close down over some holidays because of snow.

As Governor, my top priority will be to provide the leadership to get the Illinois back to living within its means. There is not an area of state government that can’t afford to do more with less. I will make the difficult decisions necessary to balance Illinois’ budget without raising taxes.

I believe the long-term solution to the state’s fiscal imbalance is bringing back the 700,000 jobs Illinois has lost in recent years, which would ultimately result in a $3 billion annual infusion of tax revenues to the state treasury. In the short term, I will order a top-to-bottom prioritization of state spending to curtail programs that are outdated or underperforming and reconstruct government from the bottom up.

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