Rauner talks up stopgap budget on five-stop tour


Gov. Bruce Rauner made a five-stop tour around the state Wednesday to discuss the 11-month budget standoff between the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers. During one of his stops at the Vienna Correctional Center, Rauner said bills for a stopgap budget and education funding are very realistic and could pass right now. Rauner says many Democrats in the General Assembly will say in private that the bills are good and they want to support them.

Lawmakers ended their spring legislative session Tuesday without passing a budget. Rauner proposed a last-minute, short-term budget to give the state some near-term stability. But that failed to gain traction with Democrats, who have opposed the governor’s yearlong insistence on passing pro-business legislation and curbing the power of unions. Rauner says he will continue to work on what he calls the “grand compromise.”

Among the other items lawmakers passed that await Rauner’s signature: automatic voter registration at certain state facilities, the reopening of the Hardin County Work Camp in Cave-in-Rock, and a plan that would exempt feminine hygiene products from the state sales tax.