Budget impasse is governor's fault

Budget impasse is governor's fault

For anyone who still had doubts, Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent actions should indicate clearly that he is responsible for the budget stalemate and for the carnage this has caused for the most vulnerable of the state's citizens, for our economy, and for Illinois' prospects.

After months of bargaining, including the sort of compromises that The News Gazette and others have called for, the Senate leadership developed a bipartisan plan incorporating some of the governor's demands along with revenue proposals that everyone now agrees are essential to getting us out of this mess.

Many Republicans seemed poised to finally move ahead when the governor abruptly pulled the plug — not enough concessions from the majority party to satisfy Rauner. Without support for his program in the Legislature and among the citizenry, holding the budget hostage is his only tool to implement his radical plans.

Although the attention has been focused on "Boss Madigan's" control, it is clear why this happened. Most GOP campaign funds come from Rauner and a small group of other billionaires around him.

Republicans caved in because Rauner owns them. He displayed the same attitude in negotiations with the state's largest employee union when he refused to compromise, despite significant concessions from AFSCME. He will now use his financial clout to buy the next election.

When the state's credit rating finally hits rock bottom, social programs are collapsing, and one of nation's great research universities has seriously deteriorated, Illinois' destruction will be his legacy as governor.

JIM BARRETT

Champaign

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