Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to make his budget address on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 in Springfield.
Governor Rauner is expected to lay out his plan for the state's pension crisis. According to the Illinois Policy Institute, the state's pension debt now stands at more than $110 billion. The institute also says that Illinois has about $5 billion in unpaid bills. Despite the crisis, Governor Rauner wants to change the way that schools are funded.
"We're dead last among the states for state support for education," Governor Rauner said on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in Moline. "We should increase state support. Even though we have a financial crisis, and we have a budget crisis that Pat Quinn left me, I'm going to fix the budget crisis. I'm going to put education first, and I'm going to increase state support for education."
Local groups that receive state funding are keeping a close eye on Governor Rauner's budget address.
“Critics will cite the spending cuts, but this budget focuses spending on the most essential services the state should provide and thus protects massive cuts to taxpayer budgets at home due to higher taxes. As taxpayers, we give our government a portion of our hard-earned money in hopes of politicians using it to make Illinois a better place to live. This year, government needs to do the best it can with the resources it has – this budget does that," said a statement from the Illinois Policy Institute issued after the governor delivered his address.