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Rauner says budget is “broken,” won’t say what he will cut

Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017

* I told subscriber the other day that the governor’s budget office is working on additional cuts to balance revenues with spending. So, the governor should’ve been briefed on this topic. Maybe not, judging from his responses to WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky last night

VINICKY: What are you going to cut from the budget? If it is out of balance, what are you going to do about that?

RAUNER: Well, we are going to work with the General Assembly to try to make changes in their appropriation levels. And I am working right now to reduce spending in every category.

VINICKY: Like what? Give me a specific. Like, how are you going to reduce spending?

RAUNER: This isn’t the time or place to go through every line item, it’s not appropriate.

VINICKY: Give me just one or two.

RAUNER: The budget is broken. It’s not balanced. And the worst thing is, there is no way to pay down our debt. Some folks have said, governor let’s refinance all those unpaid bills. There is no way to borrow to repay those bills. The system is broken.

VINICKY: The Democrats, of course, say that was built into the budget and that would save the state money. But I just want to go back. You can’t identify anywhere where you would cut the budget, right now?

RAUNER: Oh I could, but now is not the time to do it.

VINICKY: Why not?

RAUNER: [Laughs] You know why, because. –

VINICKY: Viewers want to know why, I’m sure. I want to know.

RAUNER: You know what, what all of us should focus on, Amanda, is getting our schools more money. And my amendatory veto to fix our school funding so it’s fair, treats all of our children the same way. It especially helps our low-income and disadvantaged students. That’s what I’m working for, and that’s what my amendatory veto does. And that’s why I hope your viewers will come online and look at the results at

Focus, Amanda. Focus.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    He will not answer a question. It seems more and more that he has no ideas or plans and he clings to his talking points because he can’t answer the questions. We get it, Madigan is bad and the system is broken, now what are YOU going to do to fix the problems?

  2. - Seats - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    The man is like a broken automated bot with his responses.

  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    ” Well, we are going to work with the General Assembly to try to make changes in their appropriation levels. And I am working right now to reduce spending in every category”

    Rrriiiiiiggght. Because you’ve got such a goo track record on that

  4. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    More of the same without a crumb of changes. All year long the General Assembly, particularly through committees and hearings in the Senate, have asked his agency directors to identify cuts.

    Remember, via this interview, Rauner insisted that his agency directors were his top/key advisors…with as much weight as the very, very, very, very un-influential IPI staff. So, if THEY have no recommendations, I’m sure he’s just not ready to say. He’s got a lot of advisement to get, obviously.

    As usual, he is simply “pathetic.”

  5. - Seats - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:58 am:

  6. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    The words “empty suit” come to mind.

  7. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:02 am:

    Typical of the politician that claims that if you give them a chance they will cut fraud, waste, and , abuse from state government. In reality they are clueless and can’t name an item to cut. These types of statements have been thrown out there for years. For being such a rich fellow the Governor appears to be pretty clueless…

  8. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Patronizing and condescending.

  9. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    == we are going to work with the General Assembly to try to make changes in their appropriation levels. ==


    The Governor can always spend less than the GA appropriated. And I believe he also has authority to transfer up to 10% between line items, etc. without needing GA approval.

    The Governor’s office really is powerful … if you know how to use the levers.

  10. - Paddy - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Kudos for Vinicky, though. She pushed it to the limit. What we need are more tough pressers.

  11. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:05 am:

    Mindless blather.

    And the House Republicans will follow an addle-pated Pied Piper wherever he wanders? Public school parents are going to be mighty P-O’d here in a few days.

  12. - AC - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    The governor is broken. His answers are not balanced, he needs to focus on the questions. Sadly, Rauner believes interviews are neither the time nor the place to answer questions.

  13. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    Madigan is bad, very bad, very very bad. The system is broken, very broken, very very broken. I want schools to have more money, much more money, much much more money. Oh ya and we need to cut spending and not borrow to pay off bills. Better to just not pay them and pay and hurt the providers while paying high interest rates. Borrowing is bad, very very bad. Wait, aren’t we just borrowing now from providers at a very high interest rate? Lets borrow from bond holders at a much lower rate.

  14. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    I think a group of people need to follow Gov. Rauner around with their Captain Queeg sailor outfits with marbles in their hands and a jar full of strawberries. Gov. Queeg needs to stick.

  15. - Bruce (No, not him) - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    “The Governor’s office really is powerful … if you know how to use the levers.”
    What, this job has levers?? All I can find is the Madigan button.

  16. - Montrose - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    What RNUG said. the GA appropriated the money. The governor can decide how much of it gets spent. It’s called running the state. Rauner should look into it sometime. Some governors find it very rewarding.

  17. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Two words i cant stand–reform, and broken.

    I hate them more than steak and shake commercials.

  18. - Galena Guy - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    As Ralph Kramden would say “Humina, humina, humina, humina…” You could be a little more dissembling if you put your back into it Bruce.

  19. - GOP Extremist - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Cue Ann Coulter please.

  20. - Sue - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Both Madigan and Rauner know only one word - Extreme for M and Broken for R

  21. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    Another resemblance every time Rauner pulls out the “focus glasses”…

  22. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    When will his enablers tear away out of embarrassment? I’m sure they believe in the same things, but they didn’t realize whAt a flaccid vessel they have to deliver the message.

  23. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Capt Fax there was a full briefing on the new 10% cuts, but GovJunk did not understand a word and same goes for BTIA.
    This was a very long session, but it was fun to watch GovJunk perk up when he could babble about term limits and remap.
    Wonder how long it will take the rating agencies to see that he is too stupid to see a debt issue will pay 1/2 the bills at 80% lower interest rate and threaten junk status …3-2-1

  24. - Christopher - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    My compliments to Amanda Vinicky for sticking after Rauner and trying to get an actual answer out of him.

  25. - Seats - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Agreed, compliments to Amanda for an interview that was well done.

  26. - The Real Just Me - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    Can it really be possible that the Governor does not know or understand that he can spend less than appropriated?

  27. - Father Ted - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    What’s broken is Rauner’s ability to answer a question.

  28. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Says it all:

  29. - Eagle Eye - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Come on Amanda, we gotta get people to be blinded by my flashy numbers. No need to look behind the curtain and see what i’m actually doing to them after the flash wears off.

  30. - Norseman - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    RNUG, you’re right. However, Rauner wants to use his tired “broken” rhetoric for political purpose than actually governing.

  31. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    == Why? ==

    I’m going to answer my own question. The reason Rauner wants the GA to alter the approps is because the cuts will be unpopular.

    Rauner doesn’t want to own …

  32. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    The Governor doesn’t need the General Assembly’s help to reduce appropriations. He has complete authority over how much money is spent from each appropriation.

    As for things to cut, he most certainly can identify at least some of them. It’s August 15. I can tell you for a fact that some have already been identified.

  33. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    == I can tell you for a fact that some have already been identified ==

    Based on actions to date, that would be social services and K-12 funding.

  34. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    == I can tell you for a fact that some have already been identified ==

    Seriously, since the GA appropriated a full year for the first time in recent memory, I can see Rauner withholding part of the employee health funding. That’s been a favorite target for years.

  35. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    “their Captain Queeg sailor outfits with marbles in their hands and a jar full of strawberries” and pineapples. Don’t forget the pineapples.

  36. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Move along…. nuthin to see here…oh look, a butterfly.

  37. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    Can’t name any cuts but wants to focus on spending more on public education. Are we sure he’s not really a Democrat?

  38. - Gobblers Knob - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    RAUNER: The budget is broken. It’s not balanced. And the worst thing is, there is no way to pay down our debt. Some folks have said, governor let’s refinance all those unpaid bills. There is no way to borrow to repay those bills. The system is broken.

    This is the same Rauner that wants to take $100 million of his proposed State income plan and give credits for it to those that can afford to send their children to a private school. Instead of collecting it to fund either existing schooling or the general fund. Could that $100 million be used elsewhere? Will the poor, deprived children benefit from this plan?

  39. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    The last month or so has been quite the revelation as to just how heavily Rauner relied upon the superstars to help him walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Rauner on his own — there’s less there than meets the eye. And BTIA hasn’t yet demonstrated that they have a clue, much less the ability to prop him up.

  40. - RNUG - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    == Can’t name any cuts but wants to focus on spending more on public education. ==

    So why is the State behind on FY16/FY17 payments? He did eventually get school funding for those years.

    He says he wants to spend more on education … but the money hasn’t followed the rhetoric.

  41. - Lamont - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 12:35 pm:

    First off, Vinicky is my WC everyday. Second, does Rauner ever answer a question directly? A simple yes or no. Geez.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    To the Post,

    First and foremost, Amanda Vinicky did an outstanding job last night.

    Anyone thinking there should be more “gotcha” or “more pointed, cornering” questions, what Vinicki did was ask tough questions, no “yes/no” questions, and let the questions breathe and let Rauner answer with enough room to follow up as needed, and let Rauner say ridiculous things uninterrupted to later follow up on the statements.

    Vinicky also asked the insiders’ questions in ways those not following will get a glimpse about Rauner.


    The ILGOP ownership issue and Diana Rauner were two, “insider baseball” true questions / follow ups that also put into play as questions needing a spotlight in that forum.

    Where Vinicky shined?

    Where to begin?

    Allowing and prodding the MJM story about Drury.

    It was genius. Vinicky saw the answer starting, allowed it to come out, then prodded enough for Rauner to double down.

    The SB1 issue.

    Vinicky let Rauner speak to his points, but if you watch when it turns to Chicago, and the stuttering Rauner “children, children, children”, Vinicky let the facts in questions refute Rauner, not her.

    Diana Rauner.

    Rauner seemed stunned for a second about the questioning, but followed with answers that on their face sound… sound. Vinicky let Rauner go on, and what Rauner did is define his wife, and box his wife in more that Vinicky could have with “gotcha” follow ups or follow ups too quick to pounce.

    There was great wonky questions that Rauner turned into robotic responses. There were “clarify” avenues Vinicky used that Rauner failed to seem engaged in going into substance.

    Amanda Vinicky was outstanding, and did her craft and trade proud.

    Vinicky set a very nice table for the next person to dig deeper, if they choose, or others to question what Rauner actually said.

    Vinicky did it above board, fair, and never stifled Rauner when Rauner wanted to talk. What more can you ask of her?


  43. - Simpsons Reference - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    Ruaner thinking to himself “I had such a good interview with FOX on Friday that I should double down and let Amanda Vinicky interview me. Nothing could possibli go wrong”

  44. - State Employee - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 4:40 pm:

    Rich, please please please do us all a favor. Could you contact major news stations and/or papers and offer to interview Rauner? I bet he wouldn’t even allow it because he knows that you would be persistent and tough with your questions. I would really like to see you interview him.

    Also, is it me of does it seem that you post more stories with this adminstration. It’s almost to the point where you can’t even shut the blog down and rest on the weekends. Would you say this adminstration has given you waaaaaay more fodder for the blog? I can barely keep up with all the reading. Thank you so much for running this blog. I like so many others really appreciate the balanced information that you provide.

  45. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 5:07 pm:

    Rich. I concur with State. Cable news, if you can call it that.makes me sick. Absolutely have weined myself to a few minutes per day. This blog, although a smidge heavy on partisan readership is refreshing . Keep up the good work. I know it impossible to never interject national stories, but it usually brings out the worst on regulars. Myself included. Thanks.

  46. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Aug 15, 17 @ 10:42 pm:

    Sorry Rich. Got a bit overboard on another post. I just get riled up when Partisons blast the other guy and forget about missteps from their own. I try to be even handed.

  47. - cheap stock logos - Tuesday, Aug 29, 17 @ 7:35 pm:

    I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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