Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’ll set aside his distaste for tax increases and approve one if the Legislature approves his business-friendly reforms.
Democrats’ spending plan has a deficit of up to $4 billion. They want cuts and a tax hike. They say Rauner’s plans for restricting liability lawsuit awards and workers’ compensation go against their “core beliefs.”
Rauner told reporters outside his Capitol office Wednesday that raising taxes violates one of his “core beliefs” but he’ll do it if he gets his reforms.
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The House is in this week to consider a one month spending plan totaling about $2.3 billion, but Rauner says he won’t sign it if it passes the House.
As for the budget stalemate, why veto the spending plan outright rather than leave in workers’ salaries?
“That budget was $4 billion in the hole,” Rauner said of the plan lawmakers passed in May. “We need major changes in that budget, and to go through (it via) line-item veto doesn’t make sense. What’s very easy right now is to pass a continuing appropriation for state employees (to be paid).”
Rauner, accusing House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) of being someone who does things wrong and blames others, hopes that can pass soon.
Rauner said Madigan and the attorney general, Lisa Madigan, are fighting against workers being paid. The attorney general, in a statement, responded,
“I have been working with the Comptroller’s office to identify what payments can continue without a State budget to ensure that people who rely on critical government services—kids in the foster care system, low-income families who can’t afford to pay for groceries, mentally disabled individuals who need residential support—aren’t punished by the Governor’s and Legislature’s inability to finalize a budget,” the statement reads. “I want State employees to be paid. I also want State service providers to be paid. They all deserve to be paid. But this problem can’t be solved through a lawsuit. The only way to ensure State employees and service providers are fully and legally paid is with an enacted budget.”