Rauner: State agencies say they'll run out of money
Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner said Tuesday state agencies are asking for about $760 million to prevent running out of money by the summer, but he didn't outline a plan to address the situation.
Rauner spoke to a Better Government Association lunch in Springfield and continued to try to emphasize Illinois' finances as dire ahead of his inauguration next month.
The Winnetka businessman said agencies have been spending faster than they should instead of making their budgets last a full year.
"This is just them saying, 'We've been spending at a much higher rate than what we put in our budget, the original budget, and now we want more money,'" Rauner said.
He said he'll be willing to take the heat for short-term troubles but didn't detail whether he'd deny agencies' requests for more money.
"Real big change always causes anxiety," Rauner said. "There's going to be a lot of pushback on it, but that's OK."
Rauner said his administration would take suggestions as it looks to fill state government with new hires, but he also told reporters he's interviewing people in government now to possibly keep their jobs.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Revenue released information for employers this week about the state's lower income tax rate of 3.75 percent starting Jan. 1. Spokeswoman Sue Hofer said an average Illinois family with two children would save about $930 a year when the rate drops from the current 5 percent.
Rauner has taken heat for his lack of specific budget plans. He pointed to a proposal to extend the state sales tax to some services but didn't elaborate much Tuesday.
"I don't think it makes sense to go into policy recommendations prior to the inauguration," Rauner said.