Senate Democrats Reject Giving Gov. Rauner Increased Budget Powers

Mar 16, 2017

Democratic state senators Wednesday rejected a push by Republicans to give Governor Bruce Rauner extraordinary budget powers.

It would've let Rauner cut spending across government -with few areas of government off limits ... such as elementary education and debt payments.  At a hearing, Democratic Senator Don Harmon pushed Rauner's budget director, Scott Harry, to say just what the governor planned to cut.

"If we were to give you this power today, what cuts would you make?," Harmon asked.  "You tell me you don't have any cuts that you would make. ... Doesn't it make sense to come to us with a list of cuts that you would make unilaterally if given the power to do so?"

"The list does not exist," said Harry.
The hearing came a week after numerous Rauner agency directors also refused to answer questions about what THEY would cut.

Democrats rejected the proposal. The administration says it's "deeply disappointed."

The Governor's budget proposal relies on the Senate's grand bargain to address a $4.6 billion dollar deficit.

But the governor pulled Republicans off what was supposed to be a final set of votes - saying it wasn't yet a good deal.