Several GOP lawmakers haven’t cashed Rauner donation checks

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A published report says roughly one-third of Republican legislators haven’t cashed checks given to them from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign fund in the waning days of the legislative session.

The first-term Republican gave about $400,000 to all 67 Republican House and Senate members in May. In the House, 16 of the 47 GOP members had not cashed Rauner’s checks.

Several Republicans say they felt it was inappropriate while issues were being debated.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that as of last week 22 lawmakers hadn’t cashed the checks totaling about $119,000.

Those who have accepted the cash include Republican state Reps. Tim Butler of Springfield, Adam Brown of Champaign, Tom Bennett of Gibson City, Terri Bryant of Murphysboro and Bill Mitchell of Forsyth,

In the Senate, those who took the money include state Sens. Tim Bivins of Dixon, Bill Brady of Bloomington, Dave Luechtefeld of Okawville, Neil Anderson of Rock Island, Dale Righter of Mattoon and Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

Rep. David Reis of Willow Hill says he didn’t want to make it look like someone was influencing his decisions.

Rauner and the Democratic-controlled Legislature haven’t agreed on a budget or other issues Rauner wants.

Rauner’s office didn’t return messages. He’s said his political funds help him push his agenda.