Dems pass status quo budget, ignore reform opportunities
Governor Rauner and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly offered to negotiate and compromise on the state’s fiscal issues, beginning with discussions centered on much-needed structural reforms to state government. However, repeated attempts to work in good faith with Democrat legislators have been rebuffed in favor of the same failed budget policies that have dominated Illinois finances for more than a decade.
Instead of working on a budget compromise, Democrats moved forward with an unconstitutionally unbalanced spending plan. Their plan calls for more than $36 billion in total spending, which is more than $4 billion over projected revenues of about $32 billion for the next fiscal year.
Democrats acknowledged their budget will not fully fund state government for an entire year, and have advocated for a tax increase as a way to fill the multi-billion dollar hole. Republican legislators, led by Governor Rauner, have consistently said that reform discussions must come before any conversations about new revenue.
The Governor has indicated that he has no intentions of signing the Democrats’ spending plan into law, and will instead push for a balanced budget in conjunction with much-needed reform policies.