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Rauner’s Record: Leaving Illinois with a Bigger Fiscal Mess Than He Inherited

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Rauner Ran as a Business Executive Then Irresponsibly Kept the State Without a Budget

This week Governor Bruce Rauner travels to Asia to sell foreign investors on Illinois, and according to an interview with WBEZ’s Tony Arnold, apparently cannot stop bad mouthing Illinois to foreign investors. Rauner loves to spread the blame for Illinois’ failures, he cannot escape responsibility for the damage he has done to the state’s fiscal health.
Coming into office, Rauner “boasted he would be able to fix the state’s massive financial problems, assuring voters, ‘I’ve been a success at everything I’ve done.’” Well, things have only gotten worse. Under Rauner, Illinois:

  • had the longest budget impasse since the Great Depression;
  • saw its bond rating downgraded eight times, making borrowing more expensive;
  • achieved the feat of having the lowest bond rating ever for a U.S. state;
  • saw its bill backlog jump $10 billion, tripling the level of just a few years ago;
  • was on track to spend $800 million a year in late payment interest.

Even though Illinois was careening off a fiscal cliff, Rauner still vetoed the state’s first budget in two years and forced the legislature to override him. Rauner was willing to play political games and push the state further into debt.
“Bruce Rauner touts his business experience but no company could have survived the fiscal malpractice he exercised on Illinois’ budget,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “For two years Governor Rauner refused to compromise on a state budget making Illinois’ fiscal house even more of a mess than what he inherited. Because of Rauner, Illinois’ bond rating dropped to the lowest level ever and the state’s bill backlog tripled.  Rauner’s political games will only cost Illinois families more tax dollars in the future.”