On the 700th day that Illinois has gone without a budget under Bruce Rauner’s administration, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, released the following statement:
“Serious damage to our state is being caused each and every day that goes by without a budget. Social service agencies are being forced to close their doors, higher educational institutions are facing drastic cuts, and schools in our community are running the risk of being unable to open their doors this fall. All of this damage is occurring on top of the interest that is racking up on our ballooning backlog of unpaid bills—costing taxpayers more money in the long-run.
“What has occurred over the past 700 days under Governor Rauner is unacceptable. House Democrats remain ready to work in good-faith with the governor to end this impasse and enact an honest, balanced budget.
“Even though the budget should be our singular focus, we have shown our willingness to compromise on some of the governor’s non-budgetary demands. We passed proposals that will cut property taxes, level the field for small and medium-sized businesses, crack down on corporations shipping jobs overseas, and reform workers compensation by requiring big insurance companies to pass savings on to local employers.
“Despite our good-faith effort to meet the governor halfway and find common-ground, the governor continues to move the goalposts—jeopardizing the future of our state in the process. The fact is, this governor doesn’t want a budget. He has repeatedly refused to renew negotiations on the budget, opting for campaign stops around the state instead.
“House Democrats know that the only way we can get a budget is by working in a bipartisan manner with cooperation and compromise. That is why every member of our caucus signed a letter to the governor asking him to return to the negotiation table.
“Since we sent our letter, the governor has yet to take us up on our offer and has continued to refuse to meet with House negotiators. Our state can’t afford any more gridlock. It’s time for the governor to do his job and work with us to bring an end to this harmful impasse.”