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Politics and Government

Rauner Signs First Full-Year State Budget As Illinois Governor

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Gov. Bruce Rauner was joined at Monday's bill signing by legislators from both parties who hailed the budget as a bipartisan compromise.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Illinois' new state budget, the first full-year spending plan he's enacted since taking office in 2015.<--break->

The Republican, who's seeking re-election in November, was joined at Monday's bill signing by legislators from both parties who hailed the budget as a bipartisan compromise.

The plan includes none of the pro-business items Rauner pushed for years and that led to a clash with majority Democrats and a years-long state budget impasse. It does include the income tax increase Rauner railed against after it was passed last year.

Rauner says he wasn't able to persuade the Legislature to reduce taxes and the budget "moves the state forward."

“For the first time in years, we have an opportunity to manage our way into balance, and we don’t have to dip into the pockets of overtaxed Illinoisans to do it,” Rauner said in a statement. "Balance is in reach because we were able to accomplish $445 million of pension reform and the economy is stronger thanks to federal tax reform, and we are benefiting from an unexpected boost in tax receipts.

“I’m signing this legislation because it is a step in the right direction, but it is not perfect,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do before we fully restore the state’s fiscal integrity. We still need to enact reforms that bring down the cost of government, make the state friendlier to job creators, and ignite our state economy so it grows faster than government spending.”

A spokeswoman for Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker said the governor's approval "won't change the massive amounts of damage" Rauner's done.

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