Gov. Rauner calls for budget cuts; some local mayors upset

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — In his first budget address Governor Bruce Rauner called for major spending cuts, saying, "For far too long we have been living beyond our means -- spending money that Illinois taxpayers could not afford."

Rauner wants to cut Medicaid spending by $1.5 billion, higher education by $387 million and tax money funneled to cities and towns by $600 million.

Some of the cuts aimed at local municipalities irked area mayors.

He also wants state workers moved into a new lower-benefit pension plan to save $2.2 billion.

Chicago-area and downstate transit agencies also face cuts, including the elimination of reduced-fare programs for the Regional Transportation Authority.

Amid the cuts, Rauner proposed increasing general state aid to schools by $300 million, far less than the $566 million requested by the Illinois State Board of Education.

The governor is trying to close a $5 billion budget hole for the year beginning July 1.

Rauner's plans will be a tough sell in the Legislature, where Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers.

 To see a full transcript of the governor’s address, as prepared for delivery, click here. 



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  • LSmith

    Does Rauner realize how many JOBS will be lost as a result of cutting Medicaid so drastically? Healthcare is a huge part of our economy in IL. Why not cut all of the lofty salaries of your cronies over there in government? And come on, cutting the benefits of our developmental disabilities population will also be affected by this. We already have the worst funding in the nation! May I suggest cutting in the following order: useless corruption government workers, any teacher making 90k or above, let’s face it, teaching my kid the alphabet song isn’t worth it, we can’t really compare them to enngineers here, and the insane pensions. Don’t go after the people who need their doctors visits so that they don’t end up in ER which will further bankrupt hospitals. Pathetic.

  • tony

    You people that continue to live in that hell hole are screwed. You think your property taxes are high now….. buckle up. They will double over 3 years time.

  • ChicagoCommonSense

    To all the black folks out there who were conned into voting for this guy, how does it feel to vote against your own best interests? Black leaders were bought by this right wing jerk and their followers were ignorant sheep. Rauner pretended to be a moderate Republican to get elected, but anyone who was paying attention knew he was no better than Scott Walker.

    • silent_screamer

      Is that a racist comment posted by Chicagocommonsence?

      Are you saying Black voters are low-info voters or that they can easily be bought? I’m sure that’s not what you meant. You make it sound that if politicians offer free cell phones, or free day care, or free Internet, free healthcare, free housing etc. that Afro American will vote for them. I’m sure that not what you meant to imply. Just poor English comp skills.

  • Joe Chavez Ptak

    This will definitely interesting to watch. Those who supported Bruce Rauner expect nothing less from him than to do what is necessary to restore our states finances and to restore accountability in how we manage the taxpayers money. The cuts and subsequent pains endured will be real, but unfortunately necessary. His long term plans to restore our economy will be key to his success. The incompetent and corrupt Democrats got us in this mess. They have controlled every aspect of governance in our state for the last twelve years. The voters had enough of them.

    • Diane

      Kindly directed at Joe.
      You hit the nail right on the head. Sooner or later you got to pay the piper. this is what the voters of Illinois asked Governor Rauner to do.

    • mrk

      Rauner is no different than any other politician. He tells people what they want to hear and then does what he wants. He puts in friends in positions to make money, hires people at very nice salaries, and gets perks for family members. Sound familiar.

  • Deanna Einbinder

    I am sick to death of the wealthy I this country using the middle class to pay for everything and using our economy like a monopoly game. Something is intrinsically wrong in a country where big business, think GE makes quarterly profits In
    the billions and pays no tax and middle class people work two or three jobs and can’ t put food on the table or take care of ln medical issues or educate their children. Listen, you can hear our founding fathers rolling in their graves!

    • silent_screamer

      Directed@ Pawel~
      All that education, all those years in film collage wasted on you and all you can do is repeat left wing slander that you find on democratic underground. What a shame. I used to respect you but come on..

    • CommonSense

      The free-ride the government has been providing since the mid 1960s has to come to an end. The era of generations of welfare recipients will not last forever…….

      • Marcus Vittitow

        Yeah except for the Rich ..they don’t have to lose a damned thing do they? They have no new taxes and live quite well with subsidies that they don’t need but let the “freeloading” of the poor come to an end? You idiots just don’t make any sense at all!

      • Maureen

        Welfare was originally sold to the American people as a temporary safety net to allow citizens ( yes citizens ) to regroup and get back on their feet.. There was actually a stigma associated with it; Then certain politicians utilized welfare to get votes for re-election.
        Now its turned into a life style for the politically un-informed. It doesn’t take a Economy Major to figure out if you spend more monies e than you have you go bankrupt. I voted for bruce Rauner because someday i hope to use the the word austerity in a sentence with Illinois.

  • JimmyH

    Hey…He did what he said he was going to do. If you don’t like it you can vote in another Democrat in 4 years and continue on the decline.

  • YouVotedForHim

    How well did austerity do in Greece? How well did austerity do in England in the Thatcher years? How well did austerity work for Hoover in the US? How well is austerity doing in Kansas? How well is it doing in Indiana? The rich will continue to thrive on the backs of the poor and the workers.

  • David Roberts

    Governor Rauner – Needs to check out Public Act 98-0104. 350,000 Illinois resident as provided for under the federal Affordable Care, the state receives 100% match federal funds until 2017 and my his cuts will cost the state $573 million in federal matched funds. Let just loss a half of billion dollars, because you rather stick it to the working class. Do your research!