Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders did not meet this week to discuss a full-year spending plan and necessary economic reforms. It also appears that little was accomplished during recent meetings of working groups trying to find agreement on workers’ compensation reform and mandate relief for local governments.
“Every day we don’t fix the budget it gets worse, and we need real reforms that’ll put us on a sound fiscal path,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont). “Getting a balanced budget should be our top priority, and I’m ready to meet at any time.”
Legislative leaders and the Governor had been meeting regularly for several weeks, but House Speaker Michael Madigan has appeared to be using stall tactics and refusing to engage in meaningful good-faith negotiations, in order to pass yet another stopgap measure that will lead to an even bigger tax hike without reforms. In response, Gov. Rauner announced Dec. 7 that budget meetings would be suspended until Democrat legislative leaders submitted their own budget proposal.
Years of irresponsible tax-and-spend policies by the two prior administrations have left state government teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff. Republican lawmakers will continue to work for a complete and constitutional state budget – in which spending matches revenue – and essential economic reforms that will keep businesses and jobs from leaving Illinois.
The following programs are endangered if there is no budget agreement on Jan. 1:
- MAP grants for students relaying on state assistance (ISAC/Higher Ed)
- Community Care Program for moderate-income seniors to keep them in their homes instead of nursing homes (just the non-Medicaid portion would be in danger. Medicaid portion is covered by court order)
- Community-based addiction treatment
- Community Mental Health (DHS)
- Prostate Cancer programs at Department of Public Health
- Bullying Prevention