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Cullerton concerned with Rauner turnaround on school funding

jjc budget 021418

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner gave a budget speech today, but a look inside his plan tells a far different story than the one he delivered. Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said the speech seemed “intentionally deceptive” while the actual budget plan undermines the governor’s own accomplishments.

“I met with the governor this morning. He said he wants to roll back taxes and put more money in education. Here’s the problem. His budget does the opposite. He spends the entire tax increase. And he cuts money for education. It’s almost like he doesn’t know what his budget does. I can’t explain the disconnect. It seems intentionally deceptive and it’s troubling.”

The governor’s budget proposal calls for increasing public school funding by $350 million, which is the increase required by the new formula the governor considers his top accomplishment. But his proposal then wipes out the increase by dumping nearly $500 million in state retirement costs onto local schools. Public education ends up losing under the Rauner plan.

It appears much of this is the governor recycling previous proposals. He’s going after public sector employees’ health insurance, again. He’s going after retired teachers’ health insurance, again. And once again, he’s going after programs for autistic children and other human services.

"I don’t think those cuts are good ideas, and I’m pretty sure Republicans don’t support them either.”