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Hastings looks for answers to address governor’s $5 billion budget hole

hastings 011017SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) spent the week asking Illinois agencies to address Governor Bruce Rauner’s nearly $5 billion budget deficit.

The $5 billion budget deficit would in turn mean a 20 percent budget cut across the board for Illinois agencies and programs.

Hastings, chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law, brought in agency directors from the Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Corrections to directly ask them where the 20 percent state agency cuts would come from.

Illinois Department of Corrections Director John Baldwin did not appear in front of the committee or notify the committee of any scheduling conflicts.

“The director of the Illinois Department of Corrections did not bother to notify the committee of his absence,” Hastings said. “It is offensive for directors to not come to Senate committees unprepared to answer questions. However, it is unimaginable for a director to not even bother to show up to committee. Come to work, do your job and explain the budget.”

The Illinois State Police (ISP) is hoping for additional state funding to meet public safety needs. ISP needs to train additional cadets to fill workforce needs and keep Illinois safe.

Governor Rauner did not seem to consult with the ISP while developing his proposed budget.

“There is a void in leadership,” Hastings said. “The governor needs to lead our state forward, not obstruct progress. We are going on year three without a budget. We know our people are hurting. Governor, you need to step up and do your job.”

ISP and IDOC did not list any potential budget cuts to meet the governor’s nearly $5 billion deficit.

Hastings is looking forward to meeting with the Director Baldwin during Senate appropriations hearings.

If Rauner can’t manage payroll records, it’s no wonder state budget is a mess

Harmon02082017SPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat and president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate, issued the following statement regarding revelations about mismanagement of contract paperwork by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office and hiding the source of deputy governor Leslie Munger’s $138,000 yearly salary:

“Now that it’s come to light that Gov. Rauner can’t manage his payroll records correctly, I find it even more clear why he’s been unable to manage a state budget for two years.

“Gov. Rauner has the right to hire whatever staff he believes he needs to properly run his administration, even in this period of historic fiscal distress for state government. But surely he can understand the terrible impression it creates when he hides a six-figure salary in state accounts designated for paying medical providers who have been waiting months for payments from the state of Illinois.

“The governor pledged to be transparent and to manage the state’s affairs better than his predecessors. He’s failing.”

McGuire: Governor’s unbalanced budget lacks specifics

mcguire 030917SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, issued the following statement Thursday to address concerns with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s unbalanced budget proposal, which spends nearly $5 billion more than projected revenues.

“This week, leaders of our nine state universities told of jobs lost, programs eliminated, reserves exhausted, furloughs imposed, and tuition rates increased,” said McGuire, Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Yet, the Governor’s proposed budget not only cuts Illinois higher education again. A nearly $5 billion hole with no plan to close it makes planning impossible for schools and families.”

McGuire joined several other Democrats in the Illinois Senate at a press conference today in Springfield to speak about the governor’s unbalanced budget proposal. In a week of testimony before various Senate committees, agency heads were unable to identify any specific reductions to their departments that would help close the $4.6 billion deficit in the governor’s proposed budget.

Bertino-Tarrant: Agency directors are unprepared to deal with Rauner’s $5 billion out-of-balance budget

jbt 050316SPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) joined fellow chairs of Senate Committees at a press conference today to discuss the fact that Governor Rauner’s agency directors have offered no new cuts to close out the $5 billion out-of-balance budget he proposed.

“What’s frustrating is that we have a governor who has derailed budget negotiations and presented an unbalanced budget for next year,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

When asked on several occasions before Senate committees, sixteen of Rauner’s agency heads were unable to identify a single dollar to cut from Illinois $36 billion operations budget.

Bertino-Tarrant, the chair of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, questioned Superintendent of Education Tony Smith about what cuts he would make to close Rauner’s budget gap. His response was that Chairman James Meeks of the Illinois State Board of Education had directed him not to say anything about reductions.

“Superintendent Smith said he, as well as Chairman Meeks, will not advocate for cuts,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The governor needs to face the fact that his leaders are unable to identify any more reductions.”