Rauners appear together at youth policy panel amid lawsuit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana have made a rare joint appearance at a cabinet discussion about youth policies amid her nonprofit group’s involvement in a lawsuit against his administration.

Diana Rauner is a Democrat who runs a child advocacy group called the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She and the Republican governor sat opposite each other Thursday at the cabinet meeting, but did not interact until she delivered a presentation on early childhood education.

Ounce is among 82 nonprofits suing the Rauner administration over a lack of state funding due to his nearly yearlong budget standoff with Democratic lawmakers.

Neither Rauner directly mentioned the budget crisis. But in her remarks, Diana Rauner said the complex combination of federal, state and local money flowing into education is a “hot mess.”