Voice of the Reader: The failed governor

Terrell Bush
June 2, 2017

"I wouldn't be surprised if there's more ratings downgrades, there should be, because the majority in the General assembly won't get a balanced budget and they won't get changes to keep it balanced", the Republican governor says.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Legislature have been deadlocked on a spending plan for two years.

But when those talks broke down, Senate Democrats chose to go it mostly alone, passing the bills they say they negotiated with Rauner and the Republicans.

The state government in IL is split between a Republican Governor, Bruce Rauner, and a legislature that is controlled by Democrats, which has resulted in paralyzing gridlock. Asked about Gov. Rauner's constant attacks on Speaker Madigan, she says it's "not helpful".

"The governor's reckless strategy of holding the budget hostage to create leverage for his corporate agenda that pads the profits of large corporations and insurance companies has for the third year left IL without a budget at the end of the May legislative session".

Rauner has said he wants a permanent property tax freeze as part of a state budget.

Democrats in the Illinois Senate passed a complete budget - backed by $5.4 billion in new taxes - last week, but the Illinois House will not take it up, nor does it have its own proposal ready. "This means the session will continue throughout June, raising the number of votes required to pass a budget to 71 votes".

Agreeing on a budget after May 31 requires a three-fifths majority vote, which would make it all the harder.

The Democrat says the House won't vote on a state budget on the last scheduled day of the spring legislative session. Republicans opposed each measure, and none passed by large enough margins to fend off potential Rauner vetoes.

"The governor's budget crisis has dragged on for 700 days", Rep. Halpin said in a statement.

State business groups that support cost-saving changes to laws governing compensation for injured workers and other measures sought by Rauner also expressed frustration. With Governor Bruce Rauner and Speaker Madigan both saying the other side was unwilling to compromise. "After reviewing the Senate's plan, it's become clear that this plan isn't the relief local families need, but would further add to their burden".

In a Sunday memo to House members, Rauner budget director Scott Harry said the governor sees a massive tax increase with no "meaningful" reforms.

"We're going to start to see some real pain now". One credit analyst told Bloomberg that we're "approaching that point of impaired ability to function at basic level". The Senate approved a two-year local property tax freeze and the House OK'd an increase in the minimum wage to $15 over five years. It looks like, once again, we will be ending May without a budget.

As many legislators continue to attack voting rights from all angles, forcing legislation like this into law is the best protection against voter disenfranchisement now possible.

"And the argument is made that if the speaker and the governor wanted to pass a budget we'd have one by now, I think that's a fair assumption", he said.

Moody's said in March the state is at a "critical juncture" and faces "unsustainable fiscal challenges" should the two parties fail to come together on a bill.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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