Rauner calls for billions in budget cuts

and Kerry Lester
Updated 2/18/2015 12:30 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois' new Republican governor is calling for deep spending cuts to address a state budget billions in the red without raising taxes.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said during his first budget address Wednesday that Illinois has been living beyond its means.


He says lawmakers must be willing to make unpopular decisions to make up for a more than $6 billion budget hole next year.

Rauner's address was short on details. But he said he wants to move state workers to a less-generous pension system that will save more than $2 billion.

He says Medicaid and other programs also will see painful cuts.

Rauner's plans will be a tough sell in the Democrat-controlled Legislature. Many Democrats prefer to raise income tax rates that rolled back on Jan. 1 to avoid massive cuts.

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