If Illinois lawmakers can’t come to terms on a fix for Illinois’ financial mess by the end of May, Gov. Bruce Rauner might pay for a special session out of his own pocket.
Rauner said he’s hopeful lawmakers will come to a grand compromise to correct the state’s deficit spending for the current fiscal year. The governor also wants a solution for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Rauner said if lawmakers don’t come to a compromise by the end of May, he may call a special session -- something estimated to cost over $40,000 a day.
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“I don’t want taxpayers to be charged for it,” Rauner said. “I would seriously consider -- we’re discussing this within our administration -- me paying for it personally so the taxpayers don’t have to if special sessions have to be called.”
If a special session is called by the governor, House speaker or Senate president, lawmakers get $111 per diem and travel reimbursements. There could also be additional cost for security and staff. Rauner, a multimillionaire, already refuses the $180,000 governor salary.
Meanwhile the governor said the measure he recently signed to provide money from a special fund for higher education was a short-term solution.
Regarding social services still without money, Rauner said the right answer is not another short term crisis bridge “but to move expeditiously in the next couple of weeks to a grand compromise; reforms, revenues, spending reductions as part of a grand solution for ‘16 and ‘17 simultaneously.”
Rauner reiterated he’s open to finding more revenue as part of the grand compromise, but only if there are substantial reforms to grow the economy.
Lawmakers are considering a couple of different measures that would sweep other special funds to provide money to social services for the current fiscal year.
Without a budget, Illinois is on pace to have a deficit of more than $6 billion because of mandated spending through court orders and consent decrees.