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Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes vast majority of budget bills

On+the+first+day+of+the+new+fiscal+year%2C+a+temporary+budget+failed+to+pass+through+the+Illinois+House.+Gov.+Bruce+Rauner+vetoed+the+bulk+of+the+legislature%27s+original+budget+bills+because+they+left+a+%244+billion+deficit.+
On the first day of the new fiscal year, a temporary budget failed to pass through the Illinois House. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bulk of the legislature's original budget bills because they left a $4 billion deficit.

On the first day of the new fiscal year, a temporary budget failed to pass through the Illinois House. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bulk of the legislature's original budget bills because they left a $4 billion deficit.

Daily file photo by Paige Leskin

Daily file photo by Paige Leskin

On the first day of the new fiscal year, a temporary budget failed to pass through the Illinois House. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bulk of the legislature's original budget bills because they left a $4 billion deficit.

Julia Jacobs, Summer Editor

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Illinois Budget Crisis


Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed Thursday 19 of the 21 budget bills passed by the General Assembly despite legislators’ calls to expedite budget negotiations less than one week before the end of the fiscal year.

Rauner signed into law Wednesday one of the bills, which funds elementary and secondary education, leaving 20 budget bills on his desk. The governor then vetoed most of the remaining bills to protect taxpayers from the consequences of a budget with a $4 billion deficit, he said in a statement.

“A balanced budget is the only way to responsibly protect taxpayers and put the State on a path to once again using its resources for important public services rather than interest and debt service,” Rauner said in the statement. “We must be partners in enacting a balanced budget that meets critical public needs within the resources available.”

State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said the governor cannot continue trying to balance the budget with cuts alone, but she said he refuses to discuss adding revenue until the legislature passes his “turnaround agenda.”

Rauner said in the statement that the most effective way to balance the budget is by enacting structural and economic reforms to add jobs and stimulate the state’s economy.

Fine said she hopes legislators can secure a temporary budget before the end of the month — they meet in Springfield on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. If there is no budget by July 1, the government will be forced into a shutdown.

“I thought we were on a good track yesterday when he signed the education bill, but I was wrong,” Fine said. “What we really need to do is sit down at the table and see how we can make this work.”

State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said at a town hall meeting held in Chicago Wednesday that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are in constant discussions about a temporary agreement to break the budget impasse. In past state budget conflicts, service providers have been told to keep operating with the confidence that they will be paid after a budget is signed, Steans said. But this year is different in that providers may be told to halt services until the budget is in place, she said.

“This is really what keeps me awake at night: What’s going to happen to these service providers come July 1 when they’re not going to have a contract in place,” Steans said. “It’s very, very concerning.”

The governor has been “openly hostile” to the budget that the General Assembly sent him, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) said at the same meeting. Whichever version of the budget ends up being put into place, though, the state will still have a budget deficit, Harris said.

“Both the governor’s proposal for a budget and the one that the House and the Senate sent him could be enacted into law, but at some point in the year both of them are several billion dollars short,” Harris said. “To meet the minimal obligations of the state … we’re going to need to raise new revenue.”

Email: juliajacobs2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @juliarebeccaj

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