Rauner: 'Let's put IL back on the road to prosperity'

Erica Roy
February 17, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner will use his budget address Wednesday to sound off on the so-called "grand bargain" being constructed in the state Senate.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a recent attempt to revamp the way IL funds schools and the willingness by state Senate leaders to include a new funding formula in a bill package to end the state's almost 20-month budget impasse.

Democrats are arguing that in Rauner's first budget proposal, he was conjuring billions of dollars that depended on changes in state law. A key bill to ease Illinois' $130 billion unfunded pension crisis was rejected by the Senate this month.

The Senate has been working on a plan that increases revenue and addresses some Rauner priorities.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool says in a news release that "Chicago students, who are overwhelmingly students of color, are learning in a separate but unequal system".

Governor Bruce Rauner has consistently praised the Senate leadership in its bi-partisan approach to create a spending plan called the Grand Bargain.

The republican governor and democrats in the state legislature have been deadlocked on a solution. The group's president says Rauner has failed again because his political demands don't make up for the fact that there's still no actual budget.

"Enabling them to get kids to and from career and technical education programs".

"I'll share some of my own personal views about taxes, about regulations, about bringing down property taxes, about properly funding our schools", Rauner said.

"There is no one single bullet, no one single 'must have, ' for our administration", Rauner said.

But by leaving a shortfall of $4.6 billion, the governor's budget leaves open the possibility for the General Assembly to put a $4.6 billion tax hike on his desk - which he should veto. "It is our hope the Attorney General drops this lawsuit so the bipartisan negotiations in the Senate can continue in order to reach a balanced budget with changes to get our state back on track".

Rauner said he would not support an increase in taxes on groceries and medicines and urged lawmakers to consider a permanent property tax freeze to go along with a proposed permanent increase in the state income tax.

"We can not raise taxes on people's groceries and medicine, just as we can not tax people's retirement incomes".

Rauner also doesn't want to see a permanent state income tax increase unless there's a freeze on property taxes. "We can find a way to balance the budget without hurting lower-income families and fixed-income seniors", Rauner said. He also called for additional MAP grant funding, although there is no MAP funding at this time.

Davidsmeyer says to fix the budget crisis, IL needs to stop spending beyond it's means. But he says he's "heartened" that the first-term governor wants to work with all four caucuses.

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