Illinois Political Historian Sees No Winners In Budget Impasse

Head shot of Kent Redfield.

Kent Redfield is a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Springfield and an Illinois political historian.

University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The Illinois House will try again today to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the state’s first full budget in two years. Rauner vetoed the measure Tuesday just hours later the State Senate overrode that move. The first term Republican rejected the $36 billion dollar budget and its companion tax hike because it didn’t address his demand for reform.

Brian O’Keefe talked with Illinois political historian Kent Redfield, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois-Springfield. They first discussed what changed in recent weeks to make a budget deal happen in the first place.

"I think a lot of it was cumulative," Redfield said. "We've now gone through two complete years where we're underfunding social services, greatly underfunding higher education, health care, and we're piling up these huge numbers, $15 billion worth of debt."

He says Rauner’s veto didn’t come as a surprise even after GOP lawmakers voted to end the stalemate.

“I think the Governor firmly believes if he were to prevail, a decade from now people would be thanking him," Redfield said. "Because of his lack of experience in government, he wants, everything he wants, and thinks the only way to get it is to just keep applying leverage until the other side breaks.”

Story source: Illinois Public Radio