I had an excellent meeting with Director Romano yesterday. I believe she is the best
Director of Council on Developmental Disabilities in the nation. We talked a lot about
the importance of the Life Choices Project, the new CMS Rules on Community and
the importance of the continuation of rebalancing the disability system. We are very
fortunate to have Director Romano at the table with the Governor and his team of

Tomorrow, I head to Chicago to meet with Director Fenton the newly appointed
Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities

Story from the Illinois Observer on yesterday’s happenings on the budget



by IO News Staff

(Chicago) – The Illinois Senate’s top Democrat today called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to
reset the budget process by submitting a new balanced Illinois budget.
“The budget process traditionally starts with the governor submitting a balanced plan
that allows the legislature to review and respond appropriately – something that
Governor Rauner never did,” Cullerton said at a press conference in Chicago on
Wednesday. “He now has an opportunity to restart negotiations by submitting a new
plan to the General Assembly.”

Three weeks into the new fiscal year, neither the governor’s original fiscal year 2016
plan nor the budget passed by the General Assembly is law.
Cullerton called on the governor and GOP lawmakers to acknowledge that both plans
are dead.

Cullerton said that Rauner’s budget balancing task may be simpler this time around
given the fact that $23.5 billion of state spending is already in motion due to standing
court-ordered decrees that require the uninterrupted deliverly of particular services,
such as child abuse protection services.

The senate president says that leaves $15 billion in anticipated costs left to budget.
However, those costs are pitted against revenue projections of only $10 billion to

Cullerton encouraged the governor to focus on priorities outlined by credit rating
agencies rather than a “corporate class” agenda that has no impact on the state’s
budget plan.

“The governor has spent all of his time in office prioritizing an agenda that will satisfy
the corporate class,” Cullerton said. “While some of those ideas are worthy of debate,
he has been unable to provide one shred of evidence that his agenda adds one cent
to the ledger for our budget crisis in the short term or elevates our credit rankings in
the long term.”

But Rauner dismissed Cullerton’s call for new budget proposal without linkage to the
governor’s Turnaround Agenda.

“President Cullerton made clear today that his view of a balanced budget is a budget
that makes no spending reforms, no pension reform and only raises taxes,” said
Rauner communications director Lance Trover. “Rather than moving our state
backward to the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past, we urge President Cullerton
to work with us to pass meaningful structural reforms to change the fiscal trajectory
of our state.”

At his own press conference on Tuesday, Rauner had claimed that the budget issue
would have been already resolved were he only dealing with Cullerton, Mayor Rahm
Emanuel or other lawmakers, except House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“The reality is that were it just my office working with President Cullerton, or Mayor
Emanuel or certain members of the General Assembly of both political parties, we
could have this done,” Rauner said. “This would be done.”
However, when asked by a reporter to respond to the governor’s comments,
Cullerton dismissed them out of hand.

“He’s not negotiating with me on the budget,” Cullerton said. “That why I’m here. I
don’t know what he’s talking about.”

When another reporter raised the possibility of a new meeting between the governor
and the four legislative leaders, Cullerton said that he would attend any meeting called
by the governor, but that he found meetings with Rauner unproductive.

“If it’s like other meetings, the guy reads off a sheet of paper and nothing changes,”
Cullerton said.


Cullerton said that a budget resolution can be reached before August 4, when the
Senate is scheduled to return to Springfield.

Stay tuned.


Twitter @IL_Observer

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Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)