Gov. Rauner vetoes Illinois budget, cites $4 billion deficit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bulk of the Illinois budget that the Democratic-controlled Legislature sent him.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner

Rauner announced Thursday that he vetoed 19 budget bills that legislative Democrats acknowledge add up to a spending plan that is as much as $4 billion short of revenue.

Rauner’s message on the vetoes says that “for too long, the state of Illinois has made spending promises that exceed available revenues (and) relied on accounting gimmicks.”

The first-term governor has insisted that Democrats adopt his proposed changes to the business and political climates before he’ll work with Democrats on the budget.

Democrats say he should settle the budget first. They acknowledge they sent him an unbalanced budget but want a tax increase along with some spending cuts to come up with necessary revenue.

Senate President John Cullerton’s spokeswoman Rikeesha Pheelon commented on Rauner’s veto, saying it appears that the Governor would rather move the state toward a shutdown rather than reasonable compromises that protect the middle class with a balanced approach to budgeting.