Rauner vetoes $3.9B in spending for colleges, human services

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill to provide about $3.9 billion for higher education, mental health treatment and other programs during Illinois’ nearly yearlong budget stalemate.

In a letter to lawmakers Friday, the Republican says Illinois needs “real solutions” to its financial problems. He says without a balanced budget the legislation is “just an unfunded, empty promise” or “a check written from an over-drawn bank account.”

Rauner’s veto was expected. But Democrats who approved the measure said the money is needed to keep colleges and universities and social service agencies operating.

They could now try to override the veto.

Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature have been deadlocked on a budget for the fiscal year that ends this month, and for next year.