Governor Cuts Road Money

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State Capitol - Gov. Bruce Rauner has cut $68 million in already-funded road construction or other bricks-and-mortar projects.

The cuts came on the eve of a new fiscal year set to begin without a budget agreement between the Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

The cuts include $50 million for further renovation of the 1868 state Capitol and $5 million for the long-discussed but delayed airport in south suburban Chicago.

Rauner has rebuffed discussion with Democrats on a fiscal 2016 budget because he wants fundamental business and political changes first.

The governor approved most of the re-appropriated money. He says investment in the state's infrastructure "is critical to economic development." But he made the cuts to ensure "limited taxpayer dollars are spent wisely."

The state's most powerful Democrat says the Illinois House will approve a temporary budget to ensure continued services as a new fiscal year starts Wednesday without a spending agreement.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says the $2.3 billion proposal would pay for state police protection, monitoring sex offenders, health care coverage for the poor and disabled and more.

The Chicago Democrat says it's "another opportunity" for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to avoid a government shutdown.

 Rauner's office did not immediately respond to a question about whether the governor would go along.

The Democratic-controlled General Assembly and Rauner have been at odds for weeks over a budget. Democrats want to spend more for "vital" services while Rauner says changes to government structure are needed first.

State operations could be disrupted starting Wednesday.

- Doug Wolfe & Ed Cross reporting this week at the Illinois State Capitol
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