Civic Federation does not support Rauner’s budget plan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. --  It’s budget is season in Illinois politics and The Civic Federation is out with the only comprehensive analysis of Governor Rauner’s plan.

As lawmakers negotiate an Illinois budget, a fiscal watchdog says it cannot support Rauner’s proposal.

The Civic Federation says the Rauner plan is “precariously balanced,” assuming savings and revenue the state might not see.

Also, the federation is concerned about the state’s staggering $7 billion bill backlog which nobody has come up with a plan to retire.

And the nonpartisan group says Rauner’s proposal to shift normal teacher pension costs to local school districts outside Chicago will unfairly hit Chicago taxpayers. Under Rauner’s proposal, Chicagoans would pick up their teachers’ pension costs and help pay teachers pensions elsewhere in the state.

Among the Civic Federation’s recommendations:

  • Enact a full-year budget.
  • Reducing late-payment penalties.
  • Considering a graduated income tax rate structure
  • And amending the state constitution to allow certain pension changes.

At the moment, it doesn’t appear Springfield is ready to pass Rauner’s budget or anything else.

On Tuesday, the Springfield leaders met for an hour.

“The process is moving very slowly,” Rauner said. “I would like to see it move more expeditiously. Time is short. We’ve only got three weeks left in this spring session.”

Republican are demanding a full-year budget and no new taxes. They also want an estimate of how much money the state has to spend.

But so far Democrats have shown no sign they’ll produce the estimate.

The deadline to pass a budget is May 31.