Statement: Illinois Government Finally Acts With Maturity to Avert Further Fiscal Damage

"Today, the Illinois House of Representatives has begun to conduct itself with the maturity Illinoisans have been demanding by taking the first difficult steps to address the $1.6 billion funding shortfall Gov. Rauner inherited from former Gov. Quinn. Gov. Rauner was handed a fiscal year 2015 budget that was drastically out of balance and required difficult action to save Illinois from further financial repercussions.

The legislation that passed the House today was not considered lightly, but recognized the reality that essential services would be lost if action was not taken. By acting today, payroll shortfalls and layoffs have been prevented in our prisons and court systems, while essential childcare services have been preserved. However, most important of all, funding has been saved for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, the most vulnerable in our society that cannot stand to lose again.

I have said from the beginning of this session that hard choices would need to be made over the next couple years. Today is the first step toward a stronger Illinois and a chance to stop the old game of kick-the-can that previous Governors have played with our finances."