* Gov. Rauner was in southern Illinois today and told reporters this with a straight face…
“I’ve introduced a balanced budget every year since I’ve been governor.”
Not true. Blatantly so. Yet, no reporters followed up.
So, let’s try this again.
* From 2015…
In a scathing report being released this morning, the Civic Federation, a Chicago watchdog group largely funded with corporate cash, says the new governor’s $31.5 billion operating budget does not add up and asserts that it could leave the state in worse shape than it was under former Gov. Pat Quinn.
After nearly a year and a half of all-out budget war in Springfield, the state’s fiscal situation has hit “a new low”—and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed 2017 spending plan is making it worse, the nonpartisan Civic Federation says.
In a beyond-blistering report being issued today, the Chicago watchdog says the budget’s reported $3.5 billion deficit—a shortfall Rauner has suggested might be filled with spending cuts and perhaps some tax hikes—in fact is “more like $4.5 billion to $5 billion,” federation President Laurence Msall told me in a phone interview last evening.
Gov. Rauner said he proposed a balanced budget.
“Today we present you with a balanced budget that shows what is possible if we all come together on a comprehensive approach to state finances and job creation” the governor told lawmakers.
Yet, the budget book produced by the governor’s office of management and budget suggests the budget is balanced by [$4.57 billion in] “working together on a grand bargain.” A so-called grand bargain budget compromise, though, has not been achieved or enacted.
Illinois government finance experts agree Rauner’s proposal is not balanced [anywhere from $4.6 billion to $7 billion].
We rate this claim Pants On Fire.