CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Governor Bruce Rauner has a warning before the next election in November.
He says that unless Republicans pick up seats in the Illinois House, Speaker Mike Madigan could become "dictator" of Illinois.
Bruce Rauner's short-term goal is to push two proposals through the General Assembly. He says one would allow schools across the state to open on time this fall, though Chicago and other districts with large numbers of poor families complain it shortchanges them.
The Republican governor also wants a stopgap budget approved to fund key agencies until after this November's election. He's campaigning to pick up seats. So is Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan
“If that were to happen, Speaker Madigan would turn from the most powerful politician in Illinois for the last 30 years. He would become, in effect, dictator for the state. I mean it would be pretty devastating for our economy, for our taxpayers, for political reform,” Rauner said.
The governor accuses Madigan of wanting a state government shutdown to use the resulting crisis to force through big tax increases. Madigan, though, says it was Rauner who first talked of shutting government, pointing to campaign speeches from 2013 and 2014.
“Some people take my comments out of context. What I was referring to is maybe the government might have to shut down at some point. What I was saying -- and this is an important point -- to protect taxpayers, an elected official might have to stand up to a government union and say, ‘No. Here's what's affordable.’ And the union has the right to strike,” Rauner said.
Some important government functions will start grinding to a halt next week. Unless there's an approved budget, that's when highway construction will stop - potentially putting thousands out of work.
And payouts to Illinois lottery winners will once again be delayed. That's a problem that really hits home for a lot of Illinois voters.