The Rauner administration on Friday detailed $420 million in additional spending cuts the governor is preparing to implement in the event that a budget agreement is not reached by July 1, the start of the 2016 fiscal year.
The proposed cuts totaling $420 million are in addition to the $400 million worth of spending reductions the administration outlined earlier this month.
Democratic lawmakers are pushing a 2016 spending plan that the governor says is $4 billion short.
The administration calls the Democrat-backed budget -- which has cleared the legislature, but has not been sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk -- "broken" and "phony."
Faced with a more than $6 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, Democrats have put forward some spending cuts and want to work with the administration in finding new revenues to tackle the budget. Rauner has said he will not sign an unbalanced budget nor consider new revenue options unless Democrats agree to components of the governor's controversial "Turnaround Agenda."
According to the Rauner administration, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) have "refused to pass real, compromise reforms that will grow the economy, pay down the debt and end the era of wasteful spending and broken budgets."
"In preparation for the possibility of having no budget on July 1 or a budget with a $4 billion hole, the administration is initiating its second round of steps to responsibly manage the state's finances," reads a statement from the administration.
Among other proposed spending reductions announced Friday, Rauner is looking to slash Amtrak funding from $42 million to $26 million and freeze money intended for the state's Tobacco Quitline, the University of Illinois Extension offices, new Illinois State Police forensic gear as well as the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's coal programs and subsidies.
A spokeswoman for the Senate president pushed back on Rauner's proposed cuts, saying Democratic lawmakers and the governor have time to reach an agreement before the budget deadline.
"There is no need to race toward a shutdown," said Rikeesha Phelon, reported the State Journal-Register. "There is still time for Governor Rauner to work with us in a balanced and reasonable way. We can pass a budget that reflects our joint priorities to protect the middle class and fund our schools."
James Muhammad, vice president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, released the following statement in response to Rauner's budget actions on Friday:
As he tries to divert blame for his own actions, Bruce Rauner's unilateral move immediately will deny vital home care services to thousands of elderly Illinoisans, aging veterans and people with disabilities. The sad irony is that this will only cost the state more in the long run as these vulnerable populations are forced into long-term care facilities.
We urge Gov. Rauner not to use people as pawns in his partisan struggle to get what he wants, whatever the human cost.