Rauner says Ill. budget problems worse than expected

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Governor-elect Bruce Rauner took another swipe at Governor Pat Quinn as Rauner addressed the state budget crisis today. Rauner accused Quinn of what he called budget shenanigans.

The governor-elect said he still had not determined what to do about the fiscal condition of the state government he inherited, and that his team's assessment of it worsens by the day.

"The more we look," Rauner said, "the more we peel back the onion, the uglier it is."

Rauner says the election year budget passed by the general assembly and signed by Quinn last summer has a $1.5 billion shortfall, including $760 million in spending that Quinn administration department heads did not list in their budget requests.

There was good news Tuesday for the governor-elect from Florida, where a judge ruled Rauner's venture capital firm was not responsible for a nursing home fraud scheme. A spokesman for Rauner said the verdict was "not a surprise," and then returned to the governor-elect's message: "Bruce has been and continues to be focused like a laser on the broken budget he will inherit on January 12th."

"Our taxpayers are being abused," Rauner said. "We are not getting value and that's gonna change."

Rauner, who is a first time office-holder, still hasn't said if he'll use spending cuts or tax increases or a combination to resolve near term deficits. However, he warned the audience, his own political fortune is not a factor.

"I ain't gonna make a decision based on getting re-elected," he said. "I'm gonna make a decision based on what's right for the families of Illinois for the long term."
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