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Rauner calls on General Assembly to pass balanced budget without raising taxes

Gov. Bruce Rauner calls on the General Assembly to a pass balanced budget without raising taxes during a press conference Monday in Chicago.

Gov. Bruce Rauner laid out his legislative agenda for the upcoming spring session Monday.

It includes six priorities.

One, he’d like pension reform passed so, in turn, the state income tax can be lowered.

Two, he’d like to give more power to local governments so property tax rates can be reduced.

Three, he’d like to spur economic development throughout the state by revamping the EDGE Tax Credit program and completing a variety of infrastructure projects.

Four, he’d like to improve public safety by enacting reforms that would lessen gun violence.

Five, he’d like to improve the public’s trust in the government by implementing term limits and barring legislators from overseeing property tax appeals.

Rauner said his main priority though, is getting a balanced budget in place for Fiscal Year 2019.

“A truly balanced budget for a full year, not a partial year,” Rauner said. “A full-year balanced budget with no new taxes that lives within our means.”

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown said the speaker also wants to see a balanced budget enacted, but he said Rauner’s plan doesn’t offer any information that would lead him to believe the proposals would improve Illinois’ future.

Brown added he thought it was stunning the governor did not include a solution to the Quincy Veterans’ Home crisis in his list of priorities.

During the press conference Monday where Rauner rolled out his plan, he announced he called a meeting between him and the four legislative leaders to discuss the budget.

That’s scheduled for Thursday.

Brown said Madigan plans to attend that meeting.

Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman John Patterson said Cullerton will be attending it as well.

Patterson said in general, Cullerton wants to develop stability in the budget so people and businesses in Illinois can in turn develop stability so they can plan for the future and grow.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin's spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said Durkin plans to attend Thursday's meeting.

Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady also said he plans to attend.

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