Speaker Madigan: Rauner should keep “non-budget issues” out of budget process
Monday, May 25, 2015
” House Speaker Michael Madigan opened his press conference today by recalling that he labeled Gov. Bruce Rauner’s original budget a “reckless spending plan” because he used $2.2 billion in phantom anticipated pension savings to fund his budget.
Madigan used today’s press conference to unveil the Democratic budget plan. The proposal “will be consistent with our view of what the State of Illinois should do for Illinoisans who need the government will be helpful for them.” He admitted that there will be a revenue “shortfall” with the budget, but committed to working with the governor to find a solution.
Madigan said he’ll need “a little over $3 billion” in revenues to make the budget balance. “We’ve built cuts into our spending plan,” he added, including human services, higher education and general services. There will be increases for pension payments, Department of Corrections and K-12 education.
“The most important thing for the governor and the Legislature to do right now is to prepare a spending plan,” Madigan said, adding that he didn’t think it was “appropriate” to attach non-spending demands to the appropriations process, and pointed to the governor’s press release today as an example of non-budget issues that aren’t appropriate for the budget-making process.
“I would just disagree with his method,” Madigan said. “Several of those non-budget issues have been rejected [in the House]. They’ve lost. And now it’s time to move onto a spending plan.”
“They will say what they want to say, and it would be unfortunate if they took the focus off the budget making and engaged in a bunch of political rhetoric.”
Asked about the governor’s reported plans for post-session TV ads, Madigan said Rauner will do what he was going to do after the session ended and said the Democrats would do what they were going to do. “I’m going to continue to do my work,” he said.
Asked about Rauner’s contention that some of his Turnaround Agenda could save the state money, Madigan said: “That’s pretty much of a David Stockton theory. Do you remember David Stockton?” Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s supply-side budget director.
“He has his views about what should be done by the government,” Madigan stressed about Rauner, saying others have different views. He then reiterated his demand that non-budget issues should be off the table during a budget process.”
“Issuing threats is really not helpful to this process,” Madigan concluded.