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Rauner Plans For $1.6 Billion Budget Hole

State of Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped directly into a big budget hole when he was sworn in this week. The state’s about halfway through its fiscal year. 

Illinois' fiscal year goes through June. But before Rauner took over, state agencies had sent signals, they were already running short on cash.

All eyes on are the new governor to see how he deals with what the administration says is a $1.6 billion mid-year hole.

Rauner gave few clues during his inaugural address Monday; though that afternoon he signed an executive order requiring state agencies halt all non-essential state spending. The order clamps down on travel and contracts above $50,000.

Rauner's office says the governor's budget chief met with agency directors about it yesterday.

Directors were told they are to "aggressively" determine spending that "can and will be halted."  And they were told to hold onto unspent grant money.

Rauner's office says the governor will avoid a long standard practice in Illinois --- balancing the budget by pushing bills off onto the next fiscal year's tab.

What sort of cuts that'll mean for state services, though, remains a question.

Raunerwill sign a third executive order this morning, dealing with transparency.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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