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A new day, new ways for Illinois

State Sen. James Clayborne seemed to be giving Gov. Bruce Rauner, whose background is in private business, the benefit of the doubt regarding his first months in charge of Illinois.

“State government is totally different for him. I don’t think he really understands the consequences as to some of the decisions he has made,” Clayborne said this week at a Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce event.

But what Clayborne doesn’t seem to really understand is the consequences of his and fellow Democrats’ actions and inactions. Illinois is in such dire financial shape now primarily because of their leadership. For years lawmakers and previous governors ignored basic business principles. For example, they approved and implemented a budget for the current fiscal year that they knew didn’t include enough revenue to cover expenses. As a result, the state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall between now and July.

Whatever you think of Rauner, you have to acknowledge that the old way of doing business has failed the people of Illinois. If it were working, the state would not have that huge budget shortfall and more than $110 billion worth of pension debt.

Clayborne and Rep. Jay Hoffman both told the chamber gathering that they want to work with Rauner. Good. That should translate into them supporting his ideas to become fiscally responsible.

Illinois voters elected Rauner because they want a totally different perspective, not more of the same.