Rauner’s Proposed Bill Would Give the Governor the Ability to Balance the State’s Budget

In his recent budget proposal, Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, a bill that would temporarily allow the governor to reduce certain state spending and transfer certain state funds to balance the budget.

Rauner’s proposed Unbalanced Budget Response Act would temporarily authorize the governor to; Set aside money as “contingency funds” to make sure the state can pay for core services without having to borrow more; Reduce rates the state pays to service providers; Move unspent money out of certain special funds and into the state’s general-revenue fund; Change or delay payments under continuing appropriations.

Springfield politicians have routinely ignored or evaded the state constitution’s balanced-budget requirement by using borrowed funds and dubious accounting, and the state hasn’t actually had a balanced budget since 2001. As a result, the state is on track to spend more than takes in – to have an unbalanced budget, only without an actual budget. Gov. Rauner’s budget proposal will allow him to balance the budget.

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