Statement: Wheeler Reacts to Rauner’s Budget Address

"Governor Rauner provided a very sobering assessment of our state’s financial situation today, just as the Comptroller also recently did. The situation we face now is a product of years of mismanagement that cannot continue and I applaud him for offering two realistic paths forward and again calling for politics to be set aside so we can get this done.

The Governor also made it very clear that he shares my focus of ensuring our next generation is taken care of and I hope that his request for a clean K-12 education funding bill won’t be met with opposition. At the very least, we have an obligation to protect our children from this mess and make sure that every child is able to achieve a high-quality and well-funded education, as he proposed.

I will finish by saying it once more; we cannot move Illinois forward without a balanced budget that is built on reform. The decisions we make this year will have a profound effect on our finances and on Illinoisans for years to come. No decision we make in state government has just a one-year impact. It’s time for all members of the General Assembly to accept this basic truth and realize that we will have to make hard choices, but without making these choices we can’t possibly hope to improve economic prospects and job opportunities for the people of Illinois."