Rauner administration announces more than $400M in cuts

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday afternoon announced more than $400 million in cuts his administration will begin making July 1.

The cuts are in response to the imbalanced fiscal year 2016 budget just passed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

While the cuts are significant and involve layoffs, facility closures and other reductions they only close the anticipated deficit by about 10 percent.

“It’s fair to say that more cuts are coming,” a senior Rauner administration official told Illinois News Network. “While these are significant, they don’t begin to cover the entire deficit.”

The Legislature on Sunday finished work on a roughly $36.3 billion spending plan which was, by Democrats’ estimate, about $3 billion over projected revenues. Democrats say they plan to work with the governor later on additional revenue.

Republicans say the plan is about $4 billion short, and Rauner has said he won’t sign an imbalanced budget. Nor does Rauner plan to seek new state revenue without what he calls fundamental reforms to the way the state functions.

Rauner’s demands include significant changes in workers compensation and lawsuit regulation, a property-tax freeze and ballot amendments on constitutional changes regarding term limits and legislative redistricting.

The Rauner administration on Tuesday blamed Democratic legislative leaders for the current predicament.

“Speaker (Michael) Madigan, President (John) Cullerton and the politicians they control refuse to act responsibly and reform state government,” Rauner Spokesman Lance Trover said in news release. “It is time they come to the table with Governor Rauner.”

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Source: Illinois Policy Institute