* I’m expecting a lot of react, so we’ll put them all on this new thread. First to hit my in-box is Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesperson, Rikeesha Phelon…
“It appears that the Governor would rather move the state toward a shutdown rather than reasonable compromises that protect the middle class with a balanced approach to budgeting. The Senate President will take some time to discuss all options and next steps with his caucus.”
Interesting, particularly since Rauner went out of his way to repeatedly reference his work with Cullerton in his op-ed announcement.
…Adding… OK, we now have our second react, from SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher…
“In vetoing this budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Illinoisans who, while they played no role in creating the budget deficits now facing our state, are nevertheless the ones being asked to now sacrifice the most.
“The real immediate needs of seniors, people with disabilities, retired veterans, low-income children and working parents are about to go unmet but instead Gov. Rauner is blaming others for the present crisis of his creation.
“What Gov. Rauner did today was NOT the act of leadership which he proclaims but an irresponsible blow that will most harm the least fortunate among us.”
*** UPDATE *** From the House Speaker’s office…
“It is good the House set the wheels in motion on Wednesday for a Committee of the Whole hearing on agency preparations for the government shutdown.
It seems the Governor missed an opportunity to avoid disrupting the lives of many, many middle class families for the sake of non budget issues.
These non budget issues that have been thoroughly debated. Some were adopted by the House. Others were rejected when there was no persuasive case made,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan.
It’s clear that if a shutdown occurs, Democrats are pushing to lay the blame on Rauner. But some Republicans believed talk of a shutdown was premature.
“There are still six days in the fiscal year and in Springfield that’s an eternity,” said Patty Schuh, spokeswoman to Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont. “There is still some time to enact some things and to move the ball forward.”
Schuh scoffed at Democrats’ contention that Rauner would shoulder the blame for a shutdown.
“Oh please….Lest the Democratic majority forget, they have controlled state government for the last 12 years and current state revenue cannot sustain their spending level,” she said. “They passed a budget that is $4 billion out of balance, that’s not responsible government.”
* From Elliot Regenstein at Mrs. Rauner’s Ounce of Prevention…
Without a state budget, many programs and supports that children and families depend on—such as child care, home visiting, Early Intervention and mental health—aren’t going to be available.
Already, nonprofits throughout the state are announcing layoffs and programs closures; if this goes on long enough, many providers will be put out of business permanently, meaning that even when there is a budget those children and families they served still won’t have support.
Until a budget is passed that adequately funds the programs children and families need—with the revenue to pay for it—the state of Illinois will be failing its basic obligations to its most vulnerable citizens.
The governor and General Assembly are collectively responsible for passing that budget, and we won’t be the only ones ratcheting up the pressure on them to get it done right and get it done quickly. [Emphasis added.]