Rauner outlines spending plans during budget address

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Bruce Rauner has delivered his first budget address since taking office earlier this year.

During his budget address on Wednesday, Rauner said that Illinois needs to start on a responsible path after years of "financial recklessness."  Rauner outlined his plan to fix the state's pension system, and announced that he wants to make deep cuts, stating that Illinois' top priority is to reduce pension costs.

Under Rauner's plan, workers would be moved into a less-generous pension plan, with workers who were hired before 2011 also having the option of moving into a 401(k)-style plan.  However, firefighters and police would be able to keep their current benefits.

Rauner also announced that he wants to increase general state aid for K-12 schools by $300 million.  To offset the increase, Rauner said a decrease in higher education funding could be expected.  Other cuts, like decreasing $128 million from Chicago-area transit agencies, were also mentioned.

Rauner said that his budget proposal presents an "honest path forward," and that Illinois is living beyond its means by spending money that taxpayers can't afford.

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