* Sun-Times editorial board…
We also understand that Rauner walked into a bad situation, and his only aim has been to do his darnedest to set our state right. Long before Rauner arrived in Springfield, Illinois was struggling with a weak economy, alarmingly underfunded pensions, a backlog of bills and a political dynamic that for too long has put one Chicago pol, House Speaker Mike Madigan, at the center of every major decision.
We’re just saying that passing a budget matters a whole lot more. If that was not obvious to Rauner in 2015, or even a year ago, it should be now.
Whatever pro-business gains Illinois might have made by reforming workers’ comp law, for example, have been overwhelmed by the damage done to our state’s public universities by the lack of a state budget since 2014.
Gov. Rauner keeps saying that his reforms will spark an economic boom. It’s hard to see how that will happen considering the limited economic reforms that are on the table right now compared to the tax hikes and the cuts required to balance the budget.
But I will make one point in the governor’s favor. He is prepared to sign one of the largest tax hikes in Illinois history, if not the largest ever increase. He ought to get something for doing that.