Cullerton tells Rauner to give lawmakers a budget

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CHICAGO--Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is throwing the ball back in Gov. Bruce Rauner's court to do something to end the state's budget impasse.

In a Wednesday morning news conference,  Cullerton said Rauner needs to send them a spending plan or risk another downgrading of Iliinois' bond rating, which is already among the lowest in the country.

Rauner has said he will only approve a budget if it includes his pro-business proposals, but Cullerton echoed House Speaker Michael Madigan's contention that Rauner's proposals should not be tied to the budget.

Illinois budget expired June 30.

Cullerton says 60% of any new budget is already earmarked for mandatory expenditures.

He says it's up to Rauner to decide how he thinks the rest of the money should be spent.

Cullerton says he's willing to talk with Rauner about his proposed property tax freeze, but he says there is not enough support from either party for Rauner's plan to weaken union bargaining powers.

Cullerton called some of Rauner's bills "pretty radical."

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  • Billy Bolt

    It is the Governor’s Constitutional responsibility to prepare and present a balanced budget to the General Assembly. The General Assembly is still waiting on the Governor.

    (a) The Governor shall prepare and submit to the General
    Assembly, at a time prescribed by law, a State budget for the
    ensuing fiscal year. The budget shall set forth the estimated
    balance of funds available for appropriation at the beginning
    of the fiscal year, the estimated receipts, and a plan for
    expenditures and obligations during the fiscal year of every
    department, authority, public corporation and quasi-public
    corporation of the State, every State college and university,
    and every other public agency created by the State, but not
    of units of local government or school districts. The budget
    shall also set forth the indebtedness and contingent
    liabilities of the State and such other information as may be
    required by law. Proposed expenditures shall not exceed funds
    estimated to be available for the fiscal year as shown in the
    (Source: Illinois Constitution)

    • Mike T

      One was submitted, all be it a crappy one that wasn’t balanced either. Neither party wants to be the party that cuts a program or raises taxes. Sadly both need to occur. If they worked together and both parties accepted blame that would be something. Of course that isn’t going to happen.

  • Tony

    Dear Governor Rauner, Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, Leader Durkin, and Leader Radogno:

    As Illinois organizations deeply concerned about the state’s responsibilities and obligations to serve children, families, and communities, we write to urge you to work together to pass a fair, adequate and fully funded Fiscal Year 2016 budget, that raises the revenues needed to ensure ongoing access to services and supports, before the new fiscal year begins on July 1st. As the leaders of this great state, we ask that you lead the way in setting aside differences and partnering together in order to pass a budget that is fair and meets the needs of Illinois.

    Without a fully-funded budget in place, the children and adults who rely on the services many of our organizations provide, as well as those services provided directly by the state, will ultimately be the ones who shoulder the consequences. Almost every line item in the budget carries with it a similar weight and importance. The people of Illinois depend on the state to pass a budget and fund the programs they rely upon. Families who rely on childcare assistance, individuals with physical, developmental, and/or intellectual disabilities, children and adults with mental illnesses, individuals with HIV – these are our friends, families, and neighbors who rely on a fully funded state budget.

    Non-profit organizations are the backbone of the delivery of state services to these populations and are also left to struggle with the consequences of the lack of agreement on the budget. In addition to the services non-profits provide on behalf of the state, non-profit community-based organizations are significant contributors to the local economy, employing thousands as well as buying goods and services from other local businesses.

    With no state budget in place, non-profit organizations and their boards of directors are wrestling with uncertainty. Lacking direction from state agencies, non-profits have no idea how much state funding they can expect or when that funding might begin.
    As a result, non-profits across the state have no choice but to contemplate and, in some cases execute, plans to terminate services, lay off staff, and close service sites. Organizations, their staff, and the families and communities they serve will absorb the costs of these actions. These are the same organizations that have for decades worked on the state’s behalf to ensure the availability of these services. If the state defaults on its responsibility to provide non-profits with some level of fiscal certainty and adequate funding so that they can operate using sound business practices, we all pay the price in the short and long-term.

    We strongly urge the General Assembly and Governor Rauner to come together and find agreement to provide the revenue needed to fund a Fiscal Year 2016 budget that invests in the people of this great state. We certainly stand ready to assist our state’s leadership in this effort in any way that we can.

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