News Local/State

Gov. Rauner Couldn’t Veto The Budget If He Tried


Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Governor Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

The Democrats' spending plan is broken into 20 different bills and just a few pieces of that budget legislation have made it to Rauner's desk, where he has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending. 

The rest are still on hold. 

Senate President John Cullerton says Democrats did that for a reason.

"So he just wouldn't abruptly veto the whole thing, at first," he said. "We want to make sure that he's had a chance to look at it, and reflect on it."

It's not like the hold prevents the governor from deciding what he'll do when the measures arrive. They're public, they're online. Rauner's team has had weeks to review the proposed budget.

Still, Republicans like Rep. Eddie Sullivan, of Mundelein, say enough waiting:

"Send the governor your budget and let him act on it and see where we go from there," he said. "At least then we're moving forward." 

Democrats say the governor will get the budget bills by the end of the month.

All of the budget bills are public, so the governor's office — and anyone else — is free to analyze the spending plan in the interim.

Republicans criticize Democrats for passing a budget that spends billions more than the state has, but Democrats say the governor is holding the budget hostage to an unrelated, anti-union, pro-business agenda. 

Less than two weeks remain before the state loses spending authority.