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Illinois Local Government Officials: No Budget Cuts in My Backyard!

03/10/2015 01:33 pm ET | Updated May 10, 2015

"NIMBY" usually that means "not in my backyard." But it's got a new meaning as mayors across Illinois face big cuts from Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed state budget. Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek explains what they're shouting at the governor:

Whenever residents complain about a new stoplight at an intersection or a new business development or a too-tall fence going up, mayors, trustees, school superintendents, village managers and reporters all call that the NIMBY effect.

So, it is ironic now that many of those same local government officers are engaging in a whole lot of NIMBY when it comes to Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts. In this case, we could call it Not in My Budget Yard.

It is true that Rauner seems to have a particularly large bull's eye on the local governments' budgets. Consider:

  • He proposes cutting in half local governments'6 billion share of state income tax proceeds.
  • He wants to freeze property taxes.
  • He wants to consolidate the more than 7,000 local governments in Illinois.
  • He supports allowing local governments to declare bankruptcy (which will not mean they can abandon their debts altogether, but could help them with pension debt).

It almost sounds like Rauner wants to kill local governments.

(Read the rest of Doubek's thoughts on local governments and budget cuts at Reboot Illinois.)

It's not just Illinois towns or the state General Assembly that are taking a close, hard look at Rauner's budget plans. The Wall Street Journal examined Rauner's leadership style, rise to political power and budget plans in a March 6 article. Rauner told the paper, "I've been involved in a lot of turnarounds. A key lesson in a turnaround is go big, go strong, go fast early. You don't wait around; you don't think about it; you don't wonder."

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