Rauner not ruling out signing stopgap budget

After another missed deadline, Gov Rauner is on the attack and pinning the 23 month budget stalemate on Democrats.

“The majority needs to do their job,” he says. “Yesterday was a dereliction of duty. They didn’t pass any budget. And they left town. I’ve said come back here to Springfield let’s get this done. And they’re off and they say they’re going to hold some sham hearings.”

The next target date is July 1st.

The General Assembly must authorize spending by then or risk schools not opening in the fall.

When asked if he would sign a stopgap, the governor said, “Stopgap would be a terrible outcome.”

The governor did not rule out signing a temporary spending plan, a major shift from months before.

More than 700 days into this political war, Rauner is still tying his reforms to signing a full budget.

The Democrat-led legislature checked several items off the governor’s check list. But Democrats say Rauner keeps moving the goalpost.

“He hijacked the grand bargain,” Senate President John Cullerton said. “He came in in the middle of the process told the Republicans to vote no.”
House Democrats struggled to find the votes to pass a tax hike bill sent over by the Senate, some say because of outside pressure from the Rauner political machine.

“What we should not be doing is voting for massive tax increases with no reforms. And it’s exactly right to pressure the Democrats, the majority of the

General Assembly, that just want to do a tax hike with no reforms.”

School funding is another critical area of disagreement. Lawmakers sent Rauner a bill changing the formula for elementary schools. But the governor says additional help for Chicago, killed his support.

“That’s not fair to the taxpayers of Illinois,” he said. “We should stay at the table and negotiate a fair funding formula that’s good for all districts, including Chicago.”

The funding formula is no-go for Rauner. But he did say he’ll probably sign automatic voter registration and review bills dealing with undocumented immigrants and transgender people.