Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Illinois: Rauner plans drastic cuts to fix Democrats' $4 billion in-the-hole budget

For the first time in my lifetime the Land of Lincoln has a governor who has taxpayer interests in mind--not those of the special interests such as the public-sector unions who only want more government because that means more dues money to contribute to the coffers of Democratic politicians so they can create even more government. But that mindset is why Illinois'  Democratic leaders in the General Assembly have proposed a budget with a $3 billion deficit despite the state's constitutional requirement to pass balanced budgets.

Of course they did the same thing last year and the year before that.

And the year before that...

It's easy to see how Illinois' public-pension system is $110 billion in the hole.

But as I remarked last week, the Great Gatsby era of spending is over in the Prairie State because Republican reformer Bruce Rauner is governor.

From AP:
Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans Tuesday to close state facilities and curtail spending on childcare and senior services if there's no agreement on a state budget by July 1.

In a news release that read much like a legislative resolution, the Republican governor said his administration would decide on the possible closure of up to two juvenile detention facilities, along with shuttering a southern Illinois minimum-security prison work camp, closing down five state museums and grounding state aircraft.

He described the process as defense against the "Madigan-Cullerton Budget," a reference to the Democratic legislative leaders who have OK'd a spending plan for the coming fiscal year but acknowledge they want a tax increase to bridge a revenue gap of at least $3 billion — Rauner says it's closer to $4 billion.

Chicago Democrats Michael Madigan, the House speaker, and Senate President John Cullerton, have said their spending blueprint is necessary to preserve vital services, particularly to low-income and middle-class taxpayers.
Yes, these cuts will be painful--but continuing the status quo will hurt even more.

While no doctor takes pleasure in amputating a limb--sometimes such a drastic move is necessary for the long-term good of the patient. Bruce Rauner gets it.

His campaign slogans from last year were "Shake Up Springfield" and Bring Back Illinois." Rauner means what he says.

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