CHICAGO — This Independence Day gave legislators under the governor’s regime a chance to declare their independence from a governor who is a Party of One, and gave legislators of both parties a chance to show that they are willing to compromise to put the needs of the whole state ahead of political interests. I ask members of the House of Representatives to stand firm and override Governor Rauner’s irresponsible veto of the budget as their Senate counterparts did today.
The rating agencies were poised to downgrade our state to junk status after two years of the most fiscally irresponsible regime in Illinois’ history -- Governor Rauner’s -- spent money like a wild teenager with a credit card -- taxpayer money that we will all have to pay back in years to come. He has stuck taxpayers with more than $800 million in late payment interest penalties for his over-spending. Governor Rauner tripled Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills to more than $15 billion in just two years and wants to continue deficit-spending while blaming others for it (the red section in the following graphic shows Governor Rauner’s tripling of the bill backlog).
While Rauner’s agency directors have never named a cut they are willing to accept, this budget will force $3 billion in cuts to the state budget, finally bringing back some adult fiscal discipline. The imperfect, but thankfully, bipartisan political compromise does not solve all the problems Governor Rauner’s recklessness created, but it helps us stop the hemorrhaging and begin digging Illinois out of his pit. The Office of the Comptroller has served as the chief trauma center for the state, trying to keep our schools, nursing homes and social service agencies alive. This legislation would lead us to being more of a recovery room, with a trauma unit to deal with the remaining bill backlog.
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