Civic Federation will not Support Governor Rauner’s Proposed Budget
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
Tuesday a major government research organization, Civic Federation, announced it is not supporting the Governor's budget proposal for FY2018 because 'it has an operating deficit of at least $4.6 billion and does not address Illinois’ massive backlog of bills.'
"We are in the worst fiscal crisis in this state’s history,” Comptroller Susana Mendoza said.
Illinois has six credit downgrades, which can be compared to a person having a credit score of 300 while the best of 750.
"A highly respected non-partisan fiscal expertise group,” Mendoza said. “Has come out and said exactly what I’ve been saying from the get-go, that the governor has failed his constitutional obligation to introduce a balanced budget."
Civic Federation said the proposal needs more money for unpaid bills and more restraints on state spending.
"When I initially saw it a couple months ago,” Democrat-Urbana Representative, Carol Ammons, said. “I was concerned, like so many others in the community, we're concerned about balancing a budget on the backs of poor people."
But some Republican lawmakers, like Representative-Springfield Tim Butler, said piling the responsibility on the Governor isn't helping.
“The Governor can propose a budget,” Butler said. “And that's what he's done, but it's up to the General Assembly to balance this budget, and the General Assembly for far too long has really not done their job in passing a budget and allowing us to pay those bills."
Rauner's spokeswoman said in a statement:
“Decades of fiscal mismanagement are the reason why our state finds itself in this crisis today. Governor Rauner continues to urge legislators to pass a truly balanced budget with structural reforms."
But Mendoza said change can happen and that she'd lead by example.
Tuesday, she requested an appropriation for her department, the lowest in 20 years, cutting expenditures by 10 percent, or nearly $2.4 million.
"Those people depend on the government to actually be there and do the right thing for them,” Mendoza said. “And I actually care about them, so I’d like for [Rauner] to get to work and show that he many have a heart too."
May 31st marks the budget deadline.
The Civic Federation said state lawmakers need to pass a full budget, rather than just pieces of a solution.
Comptroller Mendoza disagrees, she said a lifeline bill could temporarily help millions of vulnerable people.
A statement was sent to us by Governor Bruce Rauner's office saying:
"When Governor Rauner took office, he reduced his office budget by ten percent, as did the Lt. Governor, compared to the previous administration. If the Comptroller was truly serious about saving money, she would work to merge the Comptroller and Treasurer's Offices and save taxpayers $12 million a year."