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Top Republicans want Rauner to adjust his priorities

As the harmful effects of the budget impasse multiply, two top Illinois Republicans have called on Governor Rauner to stop holding the state hostage and drop his obsessive anti-union demands as a condition for a state budget.

Former Governor Jim Edgar told the State Journal-Register last week that Rauner’s strong arm tactics are doing serious damage to state government and Illinois families.
“State government's probably in the worst state it's been in the 47 years that I've been around (it)," Edgar said. "You've got dozens and dozens of programs that aren't being funded, agencies that are having trouble doing their mission, and I just think it's very unfortunate.

"We need a budget," he added. "These other issues, they're important, some of them I think more important than others, but you don't hold the budget hostage to get those. ... It has been very destabilizing for state government. I think a lot of people have suffered."
Edgar, a respected Republican, added that Rauner can’t run Illinois like one of his venture capital investments. Late Friday, Rauner disclosed his personal income tax documents showing he made $57.5 million in 2014.
"He does not come from government. He doesn't even really come from mainstream business. He comes from (being an) entrepreneur where you buy a business, you tear it apart and you sell it. ... I don't think you're going to tear apart the state and sell it. He might want to, but you can't do that," Edgar said.
Rauner’s own hand-picked State Comptroller agrees that it’s time for the Governor to stop targeting unions and focus on reaching a budget agreement. During a news conference last week, Comptroller Leslie Munger said:
"I don't think it helps to pit people against one another, to be completely honest," she said. "I believe we need to be all working together to solve the problems in Illinois."
Though Rauner speaks publicly of negotiating with legislative leaders and the need for moderate reforms, he has consistently demanded drastic limits on collective bargaining rights (which would not impact the state budget).
Despite the growing Republican sentiment to end the standoff and the increasing numbers of Illinoisans who disapprove of the Governor’s job performance, Rauner shows no signs of backing down on his personal agenda. And both middle-class families and our most vulnerable citizens are paying a high price.
Some of the quietest casualties of Rauner’s misplaced priorities are low-income working mothers and their children, nearly 90 percent of whom no longer qualify for essential child care assistance due to the Governor’s massive cuts to the program.
Edgar said it is time for the Governor to adjust his priorities.
"He closed the state museum, but we're still paying for people to work at the museum," Edgar said. "At the same time, we're not paying for domestic abuse shelters. We're not paying for homeless shelters. I mean, there are a lot of things that really need money, people really need help. ... It's a complete mess-up, what's going on, and I think we need to end it."
We couldn’t agree more.




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