Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking lawmakers for leeway in managing the state budget.

Rauner's office wants new powers to move money, change Medicaid reimbursement rates and be flexible in handling the state's budget crisis.

But Democrats in the Illinois House are skeptical.

House Democrats packed a recent budget hearing with members of groups who pleaded with lawmakers to keep the budget the same.

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State Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, prodded them with questions about budget certainty.
Groups ranging from 911 system operators in Southern Illinois to one of Chicago's safety net hospitals told lawmakers they need to be able to count on a fixed number of state dollars. "How do you plan. How do you hire. What is the impact on your personnel," Mitchell asked.


(Copyright WBGZ /