A speech from Gov. Bruce Rauner on the budget impasse offers little new information as he again challenges Democrats to either pass his agenda or go it alone on a tax hike.
Rauner’s remarks in Oak Lawn were billed as a “path forward for Illinois government,” but he maintained his demand for the Democratic majority in the General Assembly to consider his proposals along with the budget.
If Democrats continue to oppose his agenda, he said they should begin right away to pass a tax increase.
“Choose now. Time’s up. Let’s be reasonable here. The people of Illinois have been waiting long enough,” Rauner said.
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Rauner says he’s already dropped much of his agenda in an effort to reach a compromise. One of the remaining items he wants passed is limits on collective bargaining, which he feels shouldn’t be a divisive issue.
“This is not a partisan issue, this is a good government issue, and we’ve got to take it on,” Rauner said.
House Speaker Michael Madigan responded to Rauner’s speech by placing the blame for the impasse on Rauner’s “failure to focus on the budget.”
“I've stated all year that I will work with the governor cooperatively and professionally, but we will not devastate Illinois' middle class and struggling families by furthering an agenda aimed at driving down their wages and their standard of living,” Madigan said in a statement.