* From Madigan…
House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Wednesday:
“As he has done throughout his administration, Governor Rauner chooses to blame others for the challenges facing our state on his watch instead of being the leader he was elected to be. If the governor were as serious about addressing property taxes as he is about scoring cheap political points, he would have come to the table and worked with Democrats to support any of the multiple bills we have advanced to provide property tax relief for middle class families.
“For the good of our state, maybe it’s better the governor continue sitting on the sidelines and pretend he is ‘not in charge.’ That way, serious leaders can continue working to move our state forward, while the governor can continue to ignore his utterly dismal record without accomplishments, and avoid the real discussion about the damage he has inflicted on our state. While he remains on the sidelines, those of us in the Legislature will continue working together in a bipartisan way to ensure our state moves forward.”
I’ll post most other responses on our live coverage post.
*** UPDATE *** Comptroller Mendoza…
We just heard Governor Rauner’s re-election speech. Now he has 14 days to deliver a balanced budget that doesn’t involve pixie dust and magic beans.
I don’t know about ‘turning yesterday into tomorrow,’ but Governor Rauner turned the $5 billion backlog of bills he inherited into a $16.7 billion backlog. He deficit-spent more than any other governor in the history of Illinois - $5 billion a year.
You heard all the applause for his empty promise to propose a balanced budget. The Governor has had three chances to propose a balanced budget. All the objective fact-checkers, Politifact, the Better Government Association, all agree his budgets have been billions of dollars out of balance and his claims to the contrary flat-out lies.
I welcome his call for bipartisan governing. The good news is we do have bi-partisanship. Republican and Democratic legislators came together last year to override the governor’s vetoes on the budget and my Debt Transparency Act. Just before Governor Rauner entered the chamber to deliver his State of the State address, Legislators of both parties came together to override the Governor’s veto of education funding.
Our Debt Transparency Report we released last week showed he ran up $1 billion dollars in late payment interest penalties over the last 2 ½ years. That’s money that will never be spent on educating our children; rebuilding our state; or fixing the pipes at the Quincy Veterans Home where 13 people have died from Legionnaire’s Disease on his watch.
We need to see a balanced budget from him. We need for him to answer these five questions:
1) How are you going to cover the cost of the $1 billion in late interest penalties you racked up by not paying the state’s bills on time?
2) What is your plan to pay down the State’s $8.37 billion bill backlog?
3) How will you account for the $2.3 billion in unappropriated spending by your agencies last year?
4) How will you account for the $1.7 billion in unrealized revenues and savings from failed initiatives like the sale of the Thompson Center and the Tier III retirement plan?
5) Can you, for the first time, introduce a balanced gimmick-free budget that doesn’t call for pixie dust and magic beans?
Mendoza’s Republican opponent Darlene Senger…
“I applaud the Governor’s call for common-sense, bipartisan solutions that can deliver real property tax relief for Illinois families starting with reforming the broken and corrupt property tax assessment system. For too long, this system has benefited the insiders and connected while punishing hard-working families who only lack clout.
“The time is now for those, like Speaker Madigan and Comptroller Mendoza, who continue to defend and benefit from this broken system to either support reform — or get out of the way.”