Aside from allowing the governor to sweep funds as a way to pay for higher education, a state Representative is also feeling out the idea of letting universities borrow money.


The Unbalanced Budget Response Act would allow the governor to make cuts and sweep special funds in the upcoming fiscal year. And while Democrat leaders have said the governor could use his line-item veto authority, Governor Bruce Rauner said Monday that won’t solve the state’s problems.  

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“There are ongoing appropriations that are locked in that I cannot change without the legal authority,” Rauner said.


Rauner also said there are court orders that are off limits without giving him the extra authority.


“There’s many things that are not on the table that need to be on the table,” Rauner said. “So that’s why we need the Unbalanced Budget Response Act.”


Even House Speaker Michael Madigan has said any line item veto would have to be approved by the General Assembly anyway.


However, after the governor vetoed a bill the governor’s office said would have added to the state’s deficit without a funding source, Democratic Senator Daniel Biss said in a news release Friday a quote “better approach would be for him to propose a balanced budget of his own, with a clear spending plan and adequate revenues to pay for it.”


Republican Representative Tim Butler joined other Republicans and the governor in asking for approval of the Unbalanced Budget Response Act to give the governor authority to sweep funds and manages the state’s budget in other ways. Butler tells WMAY Springfield he understands fund sweeps are unpopular but they may be necessary to solve Illinois’ budget crisis.


“I think it’s time for all hands on deck,” Butler said. “We’ve got to figure out how to get out of this mess specifically for universities.”


Meanwhile Butler says he’s investigating letting them borrow money.


“This isn’t something I’d like to see them do all the time, but to alleviate this short term situation let them go out on the market and borrow money,” Butler said.


Butler says the borrowing authority would help universities fill the gap while the state sorts out its fiscal mess.


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