Rauner: Shutdown Worth Pain If It Brings Change
Gov. Bruce Rauner says a partial state government shutdown is worth the pain if it brings fundamental change to business and politics in Illinois.
The Republican told reporters Tuesday morning that "change is hard ... but we need to have change.''
Rauner addressed workers at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency one day before the state begins a new fiscal year without a budget agreement.
He told reporters Tuesday morning that Illinois needs "structural reform.”
“Change is hard," he said. "Change is hard. Change was always going to be hard, but we need to have change. If all we do is keep the status quo, and if all we do is just raise taxes to cover up the status quo, we’ll continue in our long-term, slow decline.”
Rauner insists on changes he says will make it cheaper to do business and to free politics from corruption before agreeing with the Democratic-controlled legislature. Democrats say it's more important to have a budget in place so state services aren't interrupted.
Meanwhile, Illinois Democrats are considering a temporary budget to fund essential state services for one month.
House Speaker Michael Madigan said the $2.3 billion proposal would pay for state police protection, monitoring sex offenders, health care coverage for the poor and disabled and more.
"This is another opportunity to not shut down the government," he said. "To keep the essential services of the government flowing, that's the purpose here."
Democratic legislators like Madigan are at odds with Rauner over the state's future.
Madigan says he hopes the governor would agree to keeping essential services going. However, Gov. Rauner has previously nixed the idea of a short-term budget. His office did not immediately respond to a question about whether the governor would go along.
Without Republican support, every Democratic member of the House would have to vote for a stop-gap budget in order for it to pass.
Voting is scheduled to begin Wednesday.