Governor Gives Lawmakers Ultimatum in Wake of Budget Impasse

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SPRINGFIELD  -  "I won't support new revenue unless we have major structural reforms," Governor Bruce Rauner told the General Assembly during Wednesday's budget address.

It was a familiar stand by the governor.  It was a mirror image of his budget address last February..

That divide between he and the Democratic super majority has led to a budget impasse.  Despite not having a spending plan and appropriated funding, part of the state is still running.

"We have tax revenue coming in and we're paying bills," said UIS political professor Kent Redfield.

However, that's only due to court orders and consent decrees which leaves about 10% of the state's budget for the current fiscal year unaccounted for.

That had lead to the yearlong budget stalemate.

As a result, that has led to an ultimatum by the governor.

"That leaves us only with two choices.  Instead, cuts will have to be made.  I would ask the legislature and work with us to make these tough decisions.  If you're not going to do then give the executive branch the flexibility to reallocate resources and make reductions to state spending as necessary," said the governor.

Despite the governor's claims of the General Assembly granting executive power to former governor's, Redfield said that those were under different circumstances than those currently facing the state.

"What the governor is asking for is the ability to delay payments that are required by law, to stop doing transfers that are required by law, to sweep funds in order to meet this year's obligation," said Redfield.

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