Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner introduced his plan for the state's Fiscal Year 2016 budget during an address in front of the General Assembly Feb. 18. Rauner outlined a plan that his administration says would eliminate a $6.2 billion budget deficit.
Rauner offered an outline of his plan.
- Eliminates $6.2-billion structural deficit.
- Unlike the FY2015 budget, this budget uses honest accounting and is structurally balanced.
- Relies on no tax increases or borrowing.
- Includes $500 million to pay down unpaid bill backlog.
- Increases K-12 education spending by roughly $300 million
- Increases early-childhood education funding by $25 million.
- Most money for education general state aid in Illinois history.
- Enacts true pension and benefit reform, saving the state nearly $3 billion in the first year.
- Looks at the state as a whole and treats all regions fairly.
- Focuses on core functions of government and delivers essential services.
- Submitted on time.
(See the outline broken down more specifically at Reboot Illinois, including sections on criminal justice, the Department of Children and Family Services and Medicaid, among others.)
In Rauner's speech, which lasted about 30 minutes, the governor explained why he thinks it is necessary to make changes to the budget through spending cuts, criticizing the the years of "irresponsible" and "reckless" spending and budgeting he says characterized the state's financial management under his predecessors.
(Read the whole speech and watch video clips at Reboot Illinois.)