IL Gov. Rauner speaks on budget crisis ahead of special session

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - On the eve of a special session for lawmakers in Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner gave a live address on Tuesday, June 20.

Rauner spoke at 6 p.m. Tuesday from the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

"We must agree on a balanced budget plan, and get it to my desk before the end of the state's fiscal year - one week from Friday," he said.

Rauner said failure to act is not an option.

"Over the next 10 days, we have an opportunity to change the State of Illinois for the better," he said. "To give our people a future they can believe in. To give job creators a reason to come, and families a reason to stay."

Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield on Thursday, June 15 for a 10-day session from Wednesday, June 21 through June 30.

He addressed all of Illinois and asked the law makers to come together in unity when they come back to the capital.

According to a press release from Rauner's office, if no action is taken by the General Assembly to pass the compromise balanced budget plan by June 30, "the ramifications for our state will be devastating and long-lasting."

In order to find a resolution, Gov. Rauner said he issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting on Wednesday, June 21 at noon.

House Speaker Mike Madigan issued a statement Thursday afternoon:

"We have stated unequivocally that a resolution to the governor's budget crisis—which has resulted in eight credit downgrades and tripled the state's debt—must be our top priority. Wherever we can compromise with the governor without hurting middle-class families, Democrats have worked to find common ground so we can get the governor to work with us and pass a balanced budget, but he has refused to do so. Per the governor's request, House Democrats have voted to cut property taxes, reform workers' compensation, make changes that will improve the business climate and level the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses, reform the state procurement code and sell the Thompson Center. With each attempt to meet Governor Rauner half way, we urged him to return to the table to negotiate a state budget. The governor refused."

The state is only 9 days away from going a full two years without a budget. Without a fixed budget the Illinois Department of Transportation has said crews will stop road construction and other projects.

According to Jak Tichenor from the Paul Simon Public policy institute at SIU, that could be the first time people are really feeling the affects of this lack of a budget.

"Until you see a true government shut down like you cant go get your drivers license renewed or something like that or as you mentioned earlier... if IDOT stops on the road construction projects..." Tichenor said. "That's when you start to notice that there's a real problem."

Not everyone agreed that the reason for Rauner's speech was to bring unity.

The Democratic Governors association described it as Rauner trying to "Reset his failing Tenure as Governor of Illinois."

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