News Local/State

Rauner: Illinois Has Money To Fully Fund Schools, Programs

Governor Bruce Rauner at Lanphier High School in Springfield Tuesday.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to students during a visit to Lanphier High School in Springfield Tuesday. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's confident state schools and other critical programs can be fully funded despite the state's budget crisis.

The Winnetka Republican told students at Springfield's Lanphier High School on Tuesday that he hopes to get approval from lawmakers to move money from nonessential government services to essential ones to help fund shortfalls for daycare programs and the prison system.

However Rauner didn't specify what services he considers nonessential.

The governor spent about 15 minutes at the Springfield school talking to a library full of students. His message: Education is the key to success, and he’s going to improve education in Illinois.

“It’s the number one priority. To me, for my wife and me, there’s nothing more important than education," he said.  "And we’re dedicated to your education, to make sure it’s as best as it can possibly be.”

The expiration of the state's temporary income tax increase is causing a multi-billion dollar drop in revenue this year and next year.  Rauner says he doesn't want to raise taxes to fill the gap.
Rauner also echoed promises made during his State of the State address to increase funding for early childhood and K-12 education next year, but offered no details on how he plans to do that.