Rauner: Madigan wants state to feel shutdown before acting
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he thinks Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan wants people to feel the pain of the partial government shutdown to create pressure and help break the state budget impasse.
The governor pointed to spring, when the state ran out of money to pay for a program that helps low-income families pay for day care. That caused an outcry that was followed by passage of a short-term budget fix.
"The reality is the speaker wanted pressure to build," Rauner said today. "He wanted child care services to be cut and impacted and pressure folks to feel that before he would take action, as sort of a cover for taking action.
"I think that's wrong," Rauner said. "I think the speaker wants pressure, wants impact now before he'll do the right thing."
Rauner wants lawmakers to approve some of his goals, like a property tax freeze, before he'll talk about a state tax hike to help balance the state budget. Because Rauner and lawmakers haven't agreed to most of a state budget, the state hasn't been able to pay many new bills since July 1.
Madigan has called Rauner "extreme" for pushing an agenda not related to the state's budget deficit. On Tuesday, Madigan said Rauner could have worked with the budget Democrats sent him weeks ago to avoid a shutdown.
"He seems to forget the legislature sent him a spending plan," Madigan said.
Last week during a visit to Lisle, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said state payments to local nonprofits that care for people with disabilities will stop "very quickly."
The Illinois House met Tuesday -- its only meeting this week -- but no long-term solution was discussed. The state Senate isn't set to meet again until August.