Reaction to Rauner’s second budget speech

By Gary Scott on February 18, 2016 at 8:36am

Jacksonville’s political representation in the state capital reacts to yesterday’s budget speech by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rauner told lawmakers yesterday he wants them to make a decision in order to solve the budget crisis.

Rauner provided two options: lawmakers should work with him on establishing a mixture of budget cuts, tax hikes and pro-business anti-union reforms.  Or the General Assembly should give the governor special powers to make the necessary spending cuts. He also proposed a record amount of money to spend on education.

State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer says Rauner is putting out an olive branch. He says legislators need to work on the current fiscal year budget right away, and then get to work on the next budget.

“We need to come together, we need to compromise, we need to fix the state, not just for today, but for the future,” he says.

“But, you could see the divide on the House floor when he talked about fully funding education for the first time since 2007, only one side of the aisle was clapping and I don’t think fully funding education is a divisive issue. We all believe in taking care of our kids and making sure that the schools have the funding that is needed, to make sure we put in the investment needed. So, we need to get past that partisan divide, we need to get in the room, start negotiating, and get this done,” adds Davidsmeyer.

State Senator Sam McCann offers his thoughts on Rauner’s address.

“I think it underscores what we’ve been talking about in my district for the last five years since I’ve been in office, and that is the fact that state government has not done a very good job of managing the money that the taxpayers send here. So, I guess our chickens have come home to roost, as it were,” says McCann.

“And I think now we have to focus on a budget-making process that makes sure that the most critical services are delivered to folks in central Illinois and around the state.”