IL Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his third budget address and praised lawmakers for working with their partners across the aisle toward a balanced budget.
Rauner told legislators assembled at the state capitol that Illinois has to stop playing the blame game and look to the future.
During his speech he again called for redistricting reform, term limits for elected officials, workers compensation reform, pension reform, and a property tax freeze, which has been passed by the House, as ways to encourage job creators to come to the state.
Rauner repeated that increasing taxes is not the answer to the state’s budget problems, and there must be economic growth that is faster than government spending. He said he would not support the Senate’s plan to expand the state sales tax to include groceries and medicine.
His budget proposal for FY 2018 contains spending that exceeds revenue by $4.6 billion, but will be balanced once he negotiates the “grand bargain” with the General Assembly.
Illinois has not had a state budget since July of 2015 and the state government continues operating mostly through court orders and spending appropriations. A stop-gap budget that was passed last year expired in January.