Governor Bruce Rauner officially opened the Illinois State Fair Friday morning. But there is still no state budget in place, and Rauner refused to say how Illinois is paying for the fair.
There were all the trappings of the usual fair grand opening: politicians, a Lincoln impersonator, a ribbon cutting.
But an impasse between Rauner, a Republican, and Democratic majorities in the legislature means Illinois has no legal authority to pay for the fair. Rauner, however, refused to answer questions about that — or anything else.
Reporter 1: “You would be the first governor in 30 years not to if you don’t. Is that what you want in the middle of a crisis? Seriously? If you’re opening a party, shouldn’t you talk about the state budget when there’s not one?
Rauner: “Today’s to celebrate. Today’s to celebrate."
Reporter 2: “I asked about the fair: Why is it important with no budget?"
Rauner: “This is all about celebrating the great state of Illinois and all that makes us proud. This is out to celebrate all the people of the state."
As the fair goes on, many state contractors — including groups that care for people with mental disabilities — say the lack of a budget could force them out of business.