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Governor Rauner Outlines Two Budget Choices For Lawmakers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — After eight months with no budget, Governor Bruce Rauner offered lawmakers two choices in his address: accept some of his reforms, and he'll accept higher taxes.

Illinois has now gone 232 days without a budget. CBS 2's Derrick Blakley was sin Springfield for the governor's address.

"Raising taxes without addressing the costs of government and improving the business climate for our state, merely drives families and jobs out of Illinois," Rauner said.

But if Democrats refuse reforms, Rauner said, give me the authority, and I'll make the painful cuts myself.

"You choose, but please, choose now," he said.

Rauner's address came amid protests from college students outside the capital and from both students and social service providers inside saying the lack of a budget is causing real harm. But Rauner didn't mention either of those needs in his speech.

"We don't have an allocation from the state, none of the universities do," said Chicago State University president Thomas Calhoun. "We're all here thinking that we would hear something and we didn't hear anything."

However, the governor did propose education funding increases from pre-school to high school.

"The one thing I won't back down on, the one thing that's non-negotiable for me, is increasing education funding," Rauner said.

But House Speaker Mike Madigan didn't sound like he was ready to allow Rauner to cut on his own.

"What the governor is asking for is unilateral legislative budget-making power," he said.

And he again rejected Rauner's reforms.

"That's his extreme right wing economic theory," Madigan said.

Rauner can't make sweeping cuts on his own unless lawmakers sign off on it and that seems unlikely.

Beyond education, the governor's speech didn't include any budget numbers, so Illinois remains in uncharted waters with not even a proposed spending blueprint.

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