Rauner: Budget Standoff ‘Could Go On For A While’
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says the standoff over a state budget "could go on for a while'' but his administration is prepared to continue managing state finances without one. The Republican spoke Friday following a manufacturing expo in Effingham.
He says he remains committed to getting Democrats to approve some of his pro-business agenda. He repeated that if Democrats don't want to work with him they can balance the budget - by passing a tax increase - without his support. Illinois is in its fourth month without a state budget.
"And I hate, I'm very upset that child care is not being funded," he said. "I'm very upset about that. Our state museum, which I love, we've got to close because we don't have a budget. I'm very upset with what we have to do to try to manage the crisis of no budget. We're doing the best we can."
The State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archaeological site, and a shooting complex in Sparta closed on Wednesday - even though their employees are still on the state payroll.
Critics say it's a foolish, mean-spirited move, that won't actually save the state much money.
Separately, Rauner has used rule changes to remove low-income parents from a state-subsidized day care program.
Illinois is in its fourth month without a state budget.
Rauner says he says he's committed to passing business-friendly laws before he'll negotiate with Democrats on spending and taxes. Democrats say the governor is holding vital services hostage to an unrelated agenda.