CHICAGO – State Rep. Greg Harris, lead budget negotiator for the House Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement Tuesday, following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s speech:
“Democrats are returning to Springfield in hopes that the governor is finally ready to compromise on a budget. But, even now, the governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth: As he holds a campaign speech ostensibly calling for unity, he’s also bankrolling negative attack ads and mailers against House Democrats and the very people he is calling on to work with.
“House Democrats have said for two years that we believe a resolution to Governor Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis must be our top priority. We have continually looked for ways to compromise with the governor without hurting middle-class families, and have worked to find common ground so the governor will finally focus on a budget.
“At the governor’s request, House Democrats have voted to cut property taxes, reform workers’ compensation, improve the business climate, sell the Thompson Center and reform the state procurement code. With each attempt to meet Governor Rauner half way, we urged him to return to the table to negotiate a budget. Sadly, the governor refused each time.
“The budget supported by Governor Rauner and legislative Republicans is not balanced. It’s not the honest budget Illinois taxpayers deserve. It’s clear that real negotiations and real compromise are needed.
“Despite the repeated campaign attacks against House Democrats, we have continued to prioritize a balanced budget. In the weeks since the spring session adjourned, we’ve held a series of budget hearings where we’ve heard directly from the victims of Governor Rauner’s budget crisis. From the parents of children with developmental disabilities, to survivors of sexual assault, the men and women speaking out are in agreement: the governor needs to put aside his extreme agenda and compromise. The governor dismissed these people as ‘props’ instead of recognizing who they are – victims of his budget crisis.
“Governor Rauner, your actions speak louder than your rhetoric. After more than 700 days of blocking compromise, it’s up to you to prove that you are finally ready to put the needs of Illinois families ahead of political games and start working in good faith on a budget.”
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Video of Rep. Harris statement is available at: https://livestream.com/accounts/954563/events/7529393/ and https://www.facebook.com/HouseDemsIL/