Rauner ‘Excited’ Over Budget Possibilities, Glad Election Is Over

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner at a Veteran's Day event in Springfield.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, right, greets veterans while participating in "Breakfast to Veterans for Veterans Day" Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in Springfield, Ill.

Seth Perlman/AP

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he hopes lawmakers get to work on trying to end an epic budget impasse when they return to Springfield for a brief session next week.

Rauner said he wants to meet with legislative leaders Monday to discuss how to proceed, but Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan hasn't responded.

During a Veteran's Day event in Champaign on Friday, Rauner said, "If we focus and concentrate -- many of the reforms we need are already in bill form. Let's try to work. And everything can be negotiated. Everything's on the table. There's nothing that I've said absolutely has to happen."

And he added, "Other than we've got to remember that trying to balance a budget purely with a big tax hike won't solve any of our problems, in fact it will make many of our problems worse."

Illinois hasn't had a budget in more than 16 months. It's unclear how much progress the Republican governor and leaders can make because ruling Democrats remain at odds with Rauner's call to pass business friendly, union-weakening legislation.

Rauner also said Illinoisans must come together after the presidential election for a society that's inclusive and diverse. Without mentioning President-elect Trump by name, he said it's important for his administration to have a good working relationship with leaders in Washington, no matter the party. 

Story source: AP