Rauner weighs in on Senate’s budget

Illinois Capitol News

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governor Bruce Rauner is calling the Senate’s work of passing a budget Tuesday night a “disaster.” He says he will not sign it if it reaches his desk.

He says he will only sign a spending plan which includes permanently freezing property taxes. Senate Democrats agreed to a two-year property tax freeze, but Rauner says it’s not enough.

“Can’t give up. What we should never do is vote for a massive tax hike that the Democrats did yesterday without property tax relief. That’s wrong. That’s a failure on their part.”

Governor Rauner is not pleased that a once-bipartisan package of bills to end the budget impasse could soon reach his desk. He says passing a spending plan with only Democratic votes is not a step forward.

“What we need to do is freeze our property taxes for four years as we recommended and give the people of Illinois the power to decide if their property taxes go up or down or stay frozen.”

But, Democrats argue how detrimental a permanent freeze on property taxes can be.

“Permanent property tax freeze causes great harm to local communities and you will not unfortunately get enough members on either side of the aisle to vote for that.”

Senate Democrats negotiated with Rauner and proposed a two-year freeze which now heads to the House for consideration.

“Taxes stay flat for two years. That’s better than going up for those two years, but in your third year, they’ll just go through the roof.”

“We’ve given you multiple issue areas that you thought were important so we took those up or working on some procurement reform that we’re willing to send you. We just can’t give you everything that you’re asking for an exchange for a budget.”

Rauner says the only bills he will sign that the Senate passed will be procurement reform and pension relief.

“I hope the Senators will get property tax relief done and the rest of the package done, then we’ll be on the road to a good place.”

House Democrats are beginning to take matters into their own hands and craft another budget plan. They sent a letter to the governor asking him to join them at the table, but they never got a response.

“My question is, where have they been for the last two years? There’s been no good faith negotiations here.”

“Still refuses to pass a budget without the political agenda that he’s been running on since he started running for the office and he hasn’t stopped running since he got elected.”

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