Rauner lays out budget deal in joint session
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner urged approval of the budget plan in his speech before the General Assembly.
The bill is currently in the state Senate.
Rauner praised the Senate leadership for their hard work in hammering out a compromise plan that incorporates reforms to pensions and workers' compensation. The plan includes an income tax hike, however, and Rauner indicated that he opposed an income tax on retirement income.
While the governor praised the plan, he did offer his own suggestions, including a permanent property tax freeze instead of merely a two-year freeze. He also called for additional MAP grant funding, although there is no MAP funding at this time.
"When it comes to higher education, we understand the hardship being felt by students who rely on state assistance to go to college," Rauner said.
His goal is a balanced budget by fiscal year 2018. It would include a hard cap on state spending and incorporate revenue increases and reductions in expenditures to pay off the state's nearly $12 billion in unpaid bills.
"The final result must be a good deal for taxpayers and job creators: a 'grand bargain' that truly balances the budget once and for all, and really moves the needle when it comes to job creation," Rauner said in his speech.