Rauner, Mendoza Spar Over Budget History

Feb 14, 2017

Gov. Bruce Rauner makes his annual budget address Wed. before the Illinois General Assembly. Democrats say Rauner has never introduced a balanced budget. The governor disagrees.

Illinois is in its 20th month without a state budget, and the question of who's to blame depends on whom you ask: Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat, or Gov. Rauner, a Republican.

"The governor's job is to introduce a balanced budget. He hasn't done that, and there's no way to sugarcoat that. That is not an alternative fact; that is a true fact," Mendoza said. 

“There's this common spin out there that I've never submitted a budget, or I’ve never submitted a balanced budget. This spin is wrong," Rauner said. 

One of the main points of disagreement came two years ago, when Rauner proposed selling the Thompson Center in Chicago and cutting government pension benefits — potentially saving billions of dollars.
But Democrats point to an Illinois statute that says governors can't use laws that don't yet exist to count as savings in their budget proposals. To date, neither the Thompson Center sale nor the pension changes have happened.