Rauner tours Illinois following State of the State address - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rauner tours Illinois following State of the State address

Bruce Rauner (Source: KFVS) Bruce Rauner (Source: KFVS)
MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Some the major topics Governor Bruce Rauner talked about included funding for education and child care, which needs roughly $300 million more to continue helping low-income parents through June.

The number one question of the day; how does he plan to balance the budget?

Governor Rauner didn't shy away from placing the blame on former Governor Quinn - claiming he allowed departments to spend irresponsibly.

Governor Rauner wants lawmakers to grant him wider authority than he currently has to maintain underfunded portions of the budget by using money from other areas that aren't "critical priorities."

“What we will need to do is pick out the things that are top priorities," Rauner said.. "Reallocate some money from certain departments and programs. Childcare should be funded, it is a critical priority.”

The governor noted the Department of Corrections and Revenue Department also are running low on funds.

He says that he has been working with the General Assembly to make these decisions but did not go in to any specifics and echoing many of his themes from Wednesday's State of the State address.

One thing he did say he wouldn't do is raise taxes.

The visit didn't sit well some in the audience, including union members.

According to some union members I spoke to, the plan favors the wealthy.

“We are going to cut the budget, we are going to cut taxes we are going to increase funding education and there is no substance to it," said Union Director Bret Seferian. "How is he going to do that? The state is already currently running in the red and now he is going to spend more money for education while cutting taxes. You can't get money from nowhere."

His plan includes term limits for officeholders, more charter schools, lowering workers' compensation and unemployment insurance costs for businesses, and reducing local property taxes.

He also spoke about improving prison conditions and alternative punishments for drug offenders as well as his plan to increase the state's minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10, phased in over seven years.

Governor Rauner says he plans pin down his budget plans over the next two weeks, he will outline it in his budget address February 18.

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