Rauner Vetoes $3.9B In Higher Ed, Social Services Funding

Jun 10, 2016

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used his veto pen Friday to reject a measure that would have provided about $3.9 billion for higher education, mental health treatment and other programs.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie huddles with other Democrats during the 2016 spring legislative session.
Credit Sarah Mueller WUIS

In a letter to lawmakers, the Republican governor said Illinois needs "real solutions'' to its financial problems. He says the state doesn't have the money to pay for the legislation.

But Democrat House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie said the governor should help identify new sources of revenue to keep universities and social service agencies operating.

"Yes, we have a revenue problem," she said. "The governor recognises it, but he doesn't seem interested in figuring out how to resolve it, even though in budget meetings his people acknowledge that we need quite a lot more money in order to meet our basic needs."

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The legislation would have funded substance abuse treatment, autism programs and homelessness prevention. It also included full funding for colleges, universities and tuition waivers for low-income students.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says higher education got some emergency funding in April, but social service providers have seen nothing from the state in nearly a year.

"They don't have a chance for funding because there is no appropriations authority," she said.

Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature have been deadlocked on a budget for the fiscal year that ends this month, and for the next fiscal year.