You may have heard about Gov. Bruce Rauner’s hopes to “empower” Illinoisans to choose whether they want to live in a “right-to-work” area. On his 100th day in office, Rauner – continuing a series of interviews – said he is confident that he can get majorities in the House and Senate, which would be 60 and 30 votes, respectively, for his plan. What’s more, he says, that plan must come before the annual budgeting process is completed.
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“Our legislative priorities can be put into half a dozen bills or so,” Rauner said. “This is not that hard, if we stay focused and disciplined.”
As for the budget, for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Rauner said, “Balancing a budget is really not that hard, if you’re committed to it. We will have a balanced budget under any scenario.”
One of the big stories this month has been the $26 million worth of cuts and grant suspensions to help complete a Fiscal Year 2015 budget fix lawmakers approved last month. Rauner says lawmakers knew the job was not done, and that he communicated that to legislative leaders. “Communication didn’t happen down to every member of the caucuses,” he said, chalking it up to his newness on the job. “How much do I directly talk to each member, versus letting the caucus leaders handle that communication?”