Quinn: Budget Impasse “Disappointing” But Won’t Run For Office
Former Gov. Pat Quinn says his successor should take a break from politics to govern as Illinois enters its fourth month without a budget. Quinn made his comments at a rare public appearance in Champaign Thursday.
Two months after Republican Governor Bruce Rauner ousted Quinn last November, the state's income tax automatically decreased, along with it, state revenue for this year.
The longer the state's budget impasse goes on, the bigger the gap will get between what the state's spending and the state's bringing in.
Quinn had campaigned on extending the 2011 income tax hike, but when Rauner won, the tax slid back.
Quinn says he doesn't feel responsible for the growing backlog of bills piling up as a result.
"Now I think it's the job of the governor to realize and tell the truth that Illinois has to use revenue from the income tax in order to properly balance the budget and pay the bills," he said. "He didn't do that last year. He said something else and now the chickens are coming home to roost."
Quinn says the way the courts have stepped in to force the state to pay for certain human services goes against the democratic system.
Courts have ruled in favor of state payments while governor and Democratic leaders haven't met for months to work out a budget deal...which Quinn blames on Rauner.
"You don't allow your own ideology in the case right now of trying to break unions, to hurt the wages of working people," he said. "If that's the policy of the governor, he's really harming the public of Illinois and the budget process that must go forward as part of democracy."
The Democrat says the state's budget crisis is "disappointing" but it won't be him trying to solve it; when asked, Quinn said he will not be running for office next year. Instead, he says he's spending time volunteering with veterans and consumer advocacy groups. Quinn was in town for a luncheon celebrating the opening of a new Veterans Center on the U of I campus.