Wehrli: Gov. Rauner’s Budget Management Steps are Necessary

As Democrat leaders in the Illinois General Assembly “double down” on billions of dollars in deficit
spending, State Representative Grant Wehrli today said Governor Rauner is doing the right thing by initiating budget management steps to bring the budget back into balance.

“We have a mountain of debt created a decade of fiscal mismanagement. We need to be responsible about our spending. We need to live within our means. Since it’s clear that Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton are unwilling to negotiate a responsible budget, it’s up to the Governor to bring spending back in line with revenues. I’m glad we have a governor who’s up to the job,” Representative Wehrli said.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton this spring abandoned the bi-partisan budget working group set up by the Governor, and in recent weeks pushed through the General Assembly a budget that spends $4 billion more than the state is expected to bring in in revenue in the new fiscal year that begins in July.

Governor Rauner this week announced the initiation of budget management steps that will immediately cut $400 million in state spending in the coming year to begin to bring the Democrats’ spending plan back into balance.

“It is apparent that there is a fundamental impasse between the Democratic Legislative Leadership in Illinois and Governor Rauner.  The Governor is calling for reforms before revenue, and that’s what we need to start us on the path to prosperity. Some of the cost reductions announced by the Governor are things that should have been done years ago, including grounding the fleet of state airplanes. The Illiana expressway is also a project we simply can’t afford,” Representative Wehrli added.

Speaker Madigan informed members of the House that they would be in “continuous session” this summer. Representative Wehrli said he hopes the additional session days will provide an opportunity to begin working again towards reform while simultaneously tackling our budget shortfall.