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Cullerton reacts to Rauner's Iowa trip away from budget work

58cc66efdbd49.image On Monday, the governor could be found in Iowa at a groundbreaking on a bi-state construction project to build a new I-74 bridge over the Mississippi River. The Illinois Department of Transportation are parters with their Iowa counterparts on the project designed to improve safety and better travel.

Senate President John J. Cullerton is concerned: while the project is good for Illinois, without a budget solution, might this be the last such project if the state's credit rating is downgraded to junk status? Other lawmakers wondered why the governor spent the day in Iowa when dire, pressing budget impasse effects continue as the fiscal year clock runs down.

Here is a statement regarding the groundbreaking on the I-74 project from Senate President John Cullerton:

"There is a sad irony in that as we celebrate the start of this tremendous construction project the reality is that the looming downgrade to junk status would make it nearly impossible from a financial aspect to ever do such a substantial project again.

“The lack of a budget will soon hobble a state known for building big dreams into reality. From our bridges and highways to our transit systems to our airports and convention centers, our ability to maintain their structural health and grow our economy is undercut if the financial sector loses confidence in us as a state and we fall into junk status. I don’t want that to happen and I trust that the people of Illinois don’t want that to happen either. The Senate has taken the tough votes and provided the legislative vehicles to end this impasse. We can end this standoff and avoid the downgrade to junk status if the will is there. I would urge all involved to prove that it is.”