By Doug Finke, State Capitol Bureau
Posted Jun. 25, 2015 at 1:27 PM
Updated at 2:57 PM
Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the remainder of the state’s operations budget Thursday,
saying it was out of balance and unconstitutional.
Rauner took the action a day after approving a bill that provides funding for K-12
education and will allow the state’s public schools to open on schedule.
Rauner previously threatened to veto the spending plan sent to him by the
legislature’s Democrats because it is up to $4 billion out of balance.
In an op-ed piece he penned for the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Rauner said
he was sent to Springfield by voters to “end the era of unbalanced budgets and
“The road back to fiscal sanity starts today with my veto of a budget that is nearly
$4 billion out of balance and includes no reform,” Rauner wrote. “Rather than
repeating the mistakes of the past — just kicking the can and raising taxes without
real reform — now is our chance to transform Illinois to make it more competitive
Rauner’s action comes just days before the start of the state’s new fiscal year.
Without a budget in place on July 1, the state won’t have the authority to spend
money on new expenses. However, the state can still make payments on the backlog
of bills incurred before July 1.
“It appears that the governor would rather move the state toward a shutdown rather
than reasonable compromises that protect the middle class with a balanced
approach to budgeting,” said Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Senate President
John Cullerton, D-Chicago. “The Senate President will take some time to discuss all
options and next steps with his caucus.”
Among those options would be an attempt to override Rauner’s vetoes. It would take
71 votes in the House and 36 in the Senate to override Rauner’s budget vetoes.
Democrats hold 71 seats in the House and 39 in the Senate.
A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, did not promptly
respond to a request for comment.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423