Rauner meets with legislators to begin budgeting process

Craig Wall Image
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Rauner meets with legislators to discuss budget
Governor Bruce Rauner met with lawmakers Thursday to discuss setting a state budget.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Governor Bruce Rauner met with four top legislative leaders Thursday in an attempt to set a state budget before the legislative session ends May 31.

Rauner said the meeting lead to some progress.

"We got everybody to agree to name their budget tiers, the members of the general assembly who are going to negotiate the next year's fiscal budget," Rauner said. "That's great, and we've agreed that will actually certify a revenue number so we can have something to work from, that hasn't been done in years."

Senate President John Cullerton expressed some initial support for the process.

"Well the process will be much easier because the Governor's assuming a lot more money than we had in the past, he's assuming that, he's assuming that the tax increase that he vetoed is obviously needed that's why it was included in this budget," Cullerton said. "That's why he wants us to start with that number now, so that's a big help."

Cullerton also said it was hypocritical of Rauner to both oppose the tax hike in his campaign for reelection and support the revenue it generates.

The governor did not agree with Cullerton's assessment.

"I've tied everything to is reforms, structural change, I vetoed the tax hike because there are no reforms with it whatsoever," Rauner said. "I am proposing stepping down that income tax hike over time over the next few years."

No timetable has been set for when the budget negotiations will begin, but if lawmakers cannot send a spending package to the governor before the legislative session ends, it will require a three-fifths majority to pass.